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Improving Patient Outcomes in Myeloma

We are committed to improving survival rates of Myeloma and advancing cures through the strategic funding of high-quality research which will benefit patients and improve survival rates.

Through the Jacquelin Forbes-Nixon fellowship, the DFN Foundation has supported research into the genetics of myeloma to better understand and define high-risk myeloma and develop much-needed new treatment approaches. Accounting for between 20% and 25% of all patients at diagnosis, high-risk myeloma has for too long been in the too-hard-to fix box.


£3 million

The amount the foundation has helped Myeloma UK to scure from two pharmaceutical companies.


The number of hospitals that are researching treatment and supporting costs (estimated >£10m)


The number of patients across the UK that continue to have treatment, response and relapse monitored on a regular, ongoing basis, specifically as patients are doing better and remain in remission.


  • Approximately 5,700 people are diagnosed with myeloma in the UK every year.
  • There are about 18,000 people with myeloma in the UK at any one time.
  • Approximately 15-20% of myeloma patients have a high-risk form of the cancer.
  • Myeloma affects slightly more men than women and is most commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 65.
  • Due to its vague symptoms, the diagnosis of myeloma is often delayed – sometimes for months or years.

Our ambition

Support laboratory and clinical research into the factors responsible for the onset, heterogeneity and progression of myeloma, with the aim of finding preventative and/or curative treatment strategies.

Support research to gain a better understanding of what matters most to patients and their families in the context of their treatment and care preferences, as well as the burden of disease.

Support initiatives that aim to prioritise research and measure the evidence it produces, so that scarce resources are allocated to the research most likely to benefit patients.


Institute of Cancer Research

What is Myeloma?

Myeloma is a relapsing and remitting cancer that has a significant physical and emotional burden on patients and their families. Despite significant advances over the past 15 years or so, it remains a largely incurable cancer. However, there are reasons to be hopeful that finding a cure may be possible.

It affects many parts of the body that contain bone marrow and that is why it is often called multiple myeloma. Thanks to the generous support of the DFN Foundation, myeloma experts at the Institute of Cancer Research have been able to better understand and define better high-risk myeloma through some very smart science and subsequently develop a first in the world treatment approach to improve survival and quality of life in this group of patients.

Our Contribution

Dr Martin Kaiser became the first Jacquelin Forbes-Nixon research fellow and the DFN foundation funded his work as chief investigator of the OPTIMUM (MUKnine) trial and his teams research on the mollecular structure of high risk myelome.

The OPTIMUM (MUKnine) clinical trial pioneered an innovative research design that included a synthetic treatment control arm using a large historical dataset (’Big Data’) involving thousands of myeloma patients treated in trials in the UK over the last 2 decades. This novel approach ensured maximum value for patients by avoiding unethical treatment randomisation.

OPTIMUM results have been published in the highly prestigious Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO).

Want more information?


Our registered office: Fivefields, 8-10 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0DH

Phone: 02034323402info@dfnfoundation.org

Our registered office is:
Fivefields, 8-10 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0DH

The DFN Charitable Foundation currently has sizeable commitments
and is not accepting grant applications.

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