Over the past few years we have been involved in many innovative and world-renowned studies. Below are just a few examples of the work we do and how it can benefit patients in the future:
Muscle/Fat Cross Talk
We are working collaboration with scientists at the University of Birmingham to examine the interaction, also called "cross-talk", between muscle, fat and joint tissue in joint damage amongst patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery. The study aims to determine the role of adipokines and myokines in controlling inflammation and metabolism, and in causing damage to the joint. Improved understanding of this mechanism is hoped to help us identify a site of action for a drug (called a drug target) to prevent or slow down the progression of joint damage.
Stromal Cells in Osteoarthritis
We are currently collecting tissue from patients undergoing Total Knee or Hip Replacements due to rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis causes a thickening of the layer lining patients’ joints and this study is investigating the way the cells in the lining communicate with each other and the part they have to play in joint damage. It is hoped that this research will help to identify new ways of controlling the pain and destruction of joints that occur in arthritis.
Led by NHS England, 100,000 Genomes is a national project aiming to collect and sequence 100,000 genomes from patients with certain cancers and rare diseases. Due to our hospitals’ specialities and our unique patient population we were the largest contributor of sarcoma tissue and blood samples to the project. The study will help to improve our understanding of the role of genetics in the development of cancers and enable us to predict treatment response. The project is soon to be part of standard care, helping to change the current NHS oncology service to a genetics-led diagnosis and treatment pathway.
In February 2019 we were the first UK centre to open recruitment to a phase 3, randomised controlled trial to evaluate the use of a monoclonal antibody in managing pain and improving quality of life for patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. This is particularly important as many patients find that standard pain relief, such as paracetamol, isn’t adequate enough to help maintain a good quality of life. We were the highest UK recruiter to the FACT OA trial.
In early 2018 we successfully opened and delivered phase one of the SAM study which was seeking to develop and validate a Sarcoma specific Patient Reported Outcome Measure questionnaire (PROM). While there are many generic cancer PROMs, they may not capture all areas that are important to patients diagnosed with a sarcoma and the need to identify the patients issues is very important. We were the highest recruiting site, and based on the findings from the first questionnaire we are now opening phase 2 which involves a more concise questionnaire. By identifying the physical and psychosocial impacts sarcomas have we will be able to develop methods and pathways to aide our patients through their diagnosis and treatment.