Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Researchers at Oxford University have launched a pioneering project to tackle crippling bone pain suffered by thousands of cancer patients.

An estimated 30,000 people every year develop this cancer-induced pain from a destructive and hugely debilitating bone disease caused by their cancers.

It affects people with primary bone tumours, bone marrow cancers such as multiple myeloma and other forms, such as breast and prostate cancer, that commonly spread to bone.

Our goal is to identify and understand pain-related changes in patients with cancer-induced bone disease so that new approaches to target this pain can be developed. - Dr Claire Edwards, Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences

Dr Claire Edwards is leading the Oxford research project which is believed to be the first of its kind. She said: 'The major clinical feature of this cancer-induced bone disease is significant and life-altering bone pain but it’s the thing that we understand least.

'We believe that tumour cells increase the expression of molecules that promote pain. Our goal is to identify and understand pain-related changes in patients with cancer-induced bone disease so that new approaches to target this pain can be developed.'

Not only is little understood about the causes of the acute bone pain but it is also very difficult to manage.

The Oxford project is being funded by Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK), one of the country's leading charities working to improve the lives of people with bone and joint disease and injury.

ORUK Chief Executive Dr Arash Angadji said: 'Cancer-induced bone pain is a devastating and debilitating feature of tumour growth within bones.

'Surprisingly, despite its major clinical impact, there is limited research in this area and a poor understanding of how and why the pain develops.

'This research will be a key step in the goal of developing new, safe and effective approaches to managing cancer induced bone pain which will improve the quality of lives of so many people.'

Similar stories

Society for Endocrinology 2022 Early Career Prize Lecture awarded to Catherine Lovegrove

We are delighted to share the fantastic news that Miss Catherine Lovegrove is one of two winners of the Society for Endocrinology (SfE) 2022 Early Career Prize Lecture.

Life-changing results from DRWF Human Islet Isolation Facility at NDS

A new documentary film launched by the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation (DRWF) on World Diabetes Day 2022 features an interview with Professor Paul Johnson, as he describes life-changing results from the DRWF Human Islet Isolation Facility at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS).

Dimitrios Doultsinos wins Young Investigator Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation

Dr Dimitrios Doultsinos, a John Black Research Fellow in Prostate Oncology at Oxford University's Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS), was one of this year’s recipients of the highly coveted Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Young Investigator Award.

Blog posts

Staff Census: We need you!

All Medical Sciences staff are invited to log into HR self-service and ensure their contact, diversity background and disability details are up to date. Between 6% and 27% of staff in the Division are missing their diversity data which makes it difficult to complete statutory reporting, understand or track our population changes and to plan actions around staff diversity and equality – make sure your data is complete today!

Oxford MedSci goes silver: 10 Years of Athena SWAN

The Medical Sciences Division is celebrating 10 years since its first Athena Swan bronze application, and the first year in which all 16 of its departments have achieved a silver award. The silver award recognises commitment to gender equality, understanding culture and context, and more. Read about our department’s hard work and innovation.

Lights, camera, action! My journey into video production

Dr Hannah McGivern provides a 'behind-the-scenes' account of her experience producing the video 'Journey of a QUOD Sample: Donating to Transplant Research', supported by the funds from the University of Oxford Public Engagement with Research (PER) Seed Fund.