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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Clinical Haematology

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We are very active in conducting research through our links with the University of Oxford.

We have a portfolio of basic scientific and translational research including:

  • myeloid disorders
  • disorders of the lymphoid system
  • cell therapy
  • stem cell biology
  • red cell disorders
  • blood transfusion
  • molecular diagnostics
  • haemophilia and thrombosis.

We believe that these complement our clinical service and ensure that we offer the best and most up-to-date service for our patients.

The Department is also very active in clinical research. Our clinical trials unit provides links between the clinical service, the pharmaceutical industry and basic scientific research groups. Both early and late phase trials are included, and we are supporting several clinical training fellows to gain experience in this field.

Patient participation

You may be asked during a consultation to consider participating in research. This may be through the donation of blood or bone marrow samples taken during the process of routine sampling, or by entering into a clinical trial, where possible new treatment options may be offered to you.

It is through past research that we have the knowledge and data to treat diseases more effectively today.

If there is an opportunity for you to take part in research, your consultant will let you know, and you will be given written information, and time to think about it, before making a decision and being asked to give your consent.

You will be able to discuss clinical trials with the research nurse, so that you feel fully informed about what is involved.

The choice to take part in research is entirely yours. If you prefer not to take part, your decision will be respected by your team and it will not affect the care you receive.

We also carry out research in partnership with other academic centres and pharmaceutical companies.

The three main areas of clinical research

Research into the biology of blood disorders.

We conduct research on the fundamental cellular and molecular processes which lead to the development of blood disorders.

We have seen some very impressive results of such research, including the development of highly effective and well-tolerated drugs, which have led to significant patient benefit.

Oxford has a very active programme of pre-clinical research and our patients are frequently approached for consent to the use of biopsy and blood samples.

Early phase clinical trials.

Whenever a new drug is developed it goes through rigorous laboratory testing. However, at some point it has to be used for the first time in patients.

In this setting it is important to determine the correct dose, to understand what the side effects are, and to understand how the drug is handled by the body.

All this happens in the context of a phase I clinical trial. In collaboration with the Early Phase Cancer Trials Unit, we run a number of early phase studies in haematological disorders such as lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and myelodysplasia.

Late phase clinical trials

Once a dose has been defined for a new drug, and the safety profile is known, its effectiveness then needs to be compared with other treatments.

These trials are called phase III trials and are often randomised, i.e. a patient is randomly assigned to standard of care or to the new approach. Oxford takes part in numerous phase III trials covering a number of treatment areas.

It is has a dedicated late phase research team and Oxford is frequently in the top ten recruiting centres in the UK. Patients are frequently approached to take part in such studies.

Myeloma and plasma-cell dyscrasias research

Clinical trials

We offer all our patients an option to participate in clinical trials. We are part of the Myeloma UK Clinical Trials Network. We have both early (phase I/II) and late phase trials for myeloma/amyloidosis patients.

Patients can self-refer for clinical trials directly or consult with their GP or local physician. The current trials are listed on the NSSG website.

Translational myeloma research

As of 2015 we have a number of myeloma research programmes in progress at Oxford. We may ask patients to donate bone marrow / blood samples when taken at during diagnosis or after treatment.

Research areas include:

  • role of BMP Signalling in myeloma
  • role of Adipogenesis in Myeloma
  • biomarkers of sensitivity to proteasome inhibitors
  • Hevylite as a surrogate marker for plasma-cell recovery following stem cell transplantation
  • feasibility study of a multidisciplinary bone clinic for myeloma patients.