BoMIO: Bone Metastasis Indicators of Outcome

This week, our blog features a guest post by Samantha Downie, a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh.

New research study on individuals living with metastatic (secondary) cancer and their relatives/carers

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh are looking for individuals living with metastatic (secondary) bone cancer or their relatives/carers to complete an online questionnaire exploring which aspects of cancer treatment they consider most important. The results will help surgeons to compare and improve care in different centres across the UK.


What is the research and why is it important?

Samantha Downie is a surgical trainee and PhD student with the University of Edinburgh.  Her aim is to find out which outcomes after treatment (e.g. pain, function and quality of life) are most important to patients with secondary bone cancer.  This will help her to design a set of quality outcome indicators of ‘best quality care’ for improving treatment of patients with this condition.

How can I help this project?

If you are living with secondary bone cancer or have a relative/friend who has been treated for cancer, you can complete an online survey to rank how important certain treatment outcomes are to you or your loved one.  For example, we want to know how important it would be to you to be discharged back to your own home after being admitted to hospital, or whether you would want to avoid strong pain killers such as morphine.

The survey takes around 20 to 30 minutes and is completely anonymous, but you can follow the link at the end to find out the results of the survey in May 2021.  If you would like to know more, please follow this link:

If I participate, what will happen? Will I be contacted afterwards?

If you decide to participate, you will be asked to rank a number of treatment outcomes according to how important you find them.  For example, you will decide whether having surgery to avoid having to take strong painkillers such as morphine would be unimportant, neutral, important or very important to you or your loved one.

The survey is online and takes around 20 to 30 minutes to complete.  Your involvement will be completely anonymous, and you can change your mind about participating at any time.

Will I hear back from the researcher once the study is finished?

No, your involvement is completely anonymous, so we cannot contact you after you have completed the questionnaire.  However, you can follow this link to access the initial results from May 2021.

Who can I contact for more information?

You can contact the lead researcher Samantha Downie directly ([email protected]) or her supervisor Professor Hamish Simpson via his secretary (Kimberley Moore Ede 0131 242 664).

If you would like to participate or learn more about the study, please follow this link

If you are a researcher and would like to share news about your prostate cancer study, please email a short outline of your work and proof of ethics approval to [email protected]

Samantha does not receive funding from PCR. We decided to feature her research on the PCR website because we felt it was an important topic, with the potential to improve quality of life for those with prostate cancer which has spread to bone. We also confirmed she had ethics approval before deciding to help promote her work.

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