Immunoglobulins in Myeloma Patients: Research into Outcomes, Variation in practice and Epidemiology

Background and rationale: 
Patients with myeloma are at risk of serious infection because of low levels of protective antibodies. Immunoglobulin therapy (made from plasma) is used to replace missing antibodies to prevent or treat infections in patients with Myeloma. Immunoglobulin therapy is very expensive, more than $60 million dollars annually for this patient group and blood cancers represent the most common indication for immunoglobulin therapy in Australia, and demand continues to grow. 

There is substantial variation in immunoglobulin use for this indication across Australia. Whether this is due to patient, disease, hospital or clinician practice, is not known. Using the Australian and New Zealand Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry, this project will collect ‘real world’, up-to- date Australian clinical and laboratory information on immunoglobulin use to guide policy and clinical practice; to plan and deliver care; and to monitor practice, costs, and outcomes. We will also collect samples to store and test in future studies.

This study will also provide a new and lower cost framework for conducting future large clinical trials of immunoglobulin therapy in Australia in myeloma and in other similar conditions.