The National Institute on Aging has awarded Shakira Grant, MBBS, and the UNC Center for Aging and Health a 2-year, $200,000 grant to study the illness and treatment experiences and functional trajectories of older adults with multiple myeloma and their care partners. Grant is assistant professor in the divisions of hematology and geriatric medicine.
Multiple myeloma is a disease of aging, with a median age at diagnosis of almost 70 years. It is also a disease of relevance to Black Americans who are twice as likely to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and to die from the disease. Most adults with this condition also have several other age-related health conditions, including multiple chronic diseases, cognitive and functional limitations. Furthermore, quality-of-life for patients with multiple myeloma is much lower than for those with other blood cancers. In this respect, the needs of older adults with multiple myeloma differ in important ways from those of other cancer populations. With the increasing availability of new therapies to treat myeloma, there is a growing urgency to understand how the benefits and harms of these treatments shape functional capacity, quality-of-life, and the illness experience. For older Black adults the need is more urgent to reduce the disparate survival outcomes for this population.
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