Myeloma is a blood cancer that results in a weakened immune system and an increased risk of infection. Myeloma is currently incurable and the most common cause of death in patients living with myeloma, aside from the disease itself, is infection. We know that rates of respiratory infections decreased in haematology patients during shielding due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And we also now know that myeloma patients have a poorer response to the COVID-19 vaccination, which may be impacted by the treatment they are on and how well that treatment is working.
This study aims to collect data to see if there has been a change in the rates of infection and the severity of infections (including deaths) in people living with myeloma before, during and after the pandemic. We suspect that infection rates will have fallen significantly due to vaccination programmes and change in behaviour such as shielding. We will also compare the infections suffered by myeloma patients with similar people who don’t have myeloma to try and assess the true impact of infections on this group of patients.