Oxford research targets bone pain in cancer sufferers

New research project seeks to help around 30,000 annually.

A team of Oxford University researchers have launched a new project investigating cancer-induced bone pain. Little is known about the links between cancer and bone disease, despite the fact that debilitating bone pain effects around 30,000 cancer-sufferers a year.

The condition affects people with primary bone tumours and bone marrow cancers such as multiple myeloma but can also occur in cancers, such as breast or prostate cancer, which commonly spread to bone tissue.

Dr Claire Edwards is leading the research team. She is an Associate Professor of Bone Oncology at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences.

The project is  being funded by Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK). Dr Kaveh Memarzadeh from the charity told Cherwell, ‘By funding this research we are enabling scientists to find specific pain markers that are expressed in patients suffering from bone cancer. These patients are often experiencing a great deal of pain and so by identifying these markers, scientists can develop novel therapeutic methods for future suffering patients.

‘We are increasingly moving towards projects that have the capability to enhance the quality of life for patients. Additionally, one of the reasons why our understanding has been poor is because funding bodies ought to recognise and support ground-breaking ideas. However, thus far, this recognition has been inadequate and we feel that pioneering ideas need more support. Dr Edwards and her team have identified a very novel project and Orthopaedic Research UK is committed to support her research team throughout the project.’