Sarcoma UK Craid Gerrand and Richard Whitehead
Principal Investigators: 
Award Amount: 
£30,039
Duration: 
6 months

After treatment for bone or soft tissue sarcoma, many patients can be left with difficulties performing physical tasks such as walking or climbing stairs. The extent of these difficulties needs to be accurately recorded in order to know how best to improve the quality of life of these patients after treatment. This project is testing various new movement tracking technologies to see which device could be used to record data from sarcoma patients.

Functional evaluation of survivors of paediatric bone and soft tissue tumours - a pilot study of two new technologies

The treatment of bone and soft tissue tumours of the limbs leaves survivors (many of whom were treated as children) with difficulties with physical tasks such as walking and climbing stairs. These disabilities restrict participation in society and may put survivors at risk of poorer health, including lower survival rates. It’s therefore very important to understand how sarcoma survivors cope and how disabled they are. Traditionally disability has been measured by clinical examination and questionnaires, but these measures are subjective and don’t provide a full picture. New technologies for movement tracking may help. As well as capturing detailed and objective data about physical activity in hospital, data can be collected over long periods during normal life. We wanted to find out which of three new devices for movement tracking might work best in patients who have been treated for bone or soft tissue tumours. 

The devices we used were Axivity (a small, body worn sensor containing a tri-axial accelerometer), Xsens (as used in the film industry), and Microsoft Kinect (a video game technology) which captures three dimensional movement. This pilot and feasibility study was a necessary first step towards developing a new measure of outcomes for sarcoma patients. Patients were tracked using these three devices during simple activities (eg: standing, walking, stair climbing). The body worn movement sensor was then worn for seven days.  

Patients found assessments acceptable and we captured useful data about activity in the laboratory and community including balance, walking activity and the speed and ease of physical activites. We have identified promising avenues of further enquiry. Our aim is to validate these assessments and develop a novel additional measure of outcome for patients treated for lower extremity tumours to help improve the lives of patients after sarcoma treatment. 

Outputs

Publications

Posters

  • Functional evaluation of survivors of paediatric bone and soft tissue tumours – a pilot study of two new technologies. Poster presented at the Children with Cancer Charity UK event at the House of Lords Reception. June, 2013. London, UK.
  • Laboratory based measurement of physical functioning after treatment for sarcoma using a triazial accelerometer – a feasibility study. Poster presented at the British Sarcoma Group Conference. February, 2015. Nottingham, UK
  • Accelerometer based measurement of balance and gait after treatment for lower extremity musculoskeletal cancer in the clinical: a feasibility and validity study. Poster presented at the British Sarcoma Group Conference. March, 2017. British, UK.
  • Accelerometer based measurement of balance and gait after treatment for lower extremity musculoskeletal cancer in the clinical: a feasibility and validity study. Poster presented at the International Society of Posture & Gait Research (ISPGR) World Congress. June, 2017. Fort Lauderdale, USA.
  • Accelerometer based measurement of Ambulatory Physical Activity in the community after treatment for lower extremity musculoskeletal cancer: a feasibility and validation study. Poster presented at the British Orthopaedic Oncology Society at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. June, 2017. Newcatle, UK.

Presentations & Workshops

  • Laboratory based measurement of physical functioning after treatment for sarcoma using a triaxial accelerometer: a feasibility study. Presentation given at the British Orthopaedic Society Oncology meeting. May, 2014. Birmingham, UK.
  • Laboratory based measurement of physical functioning after treatment for sarcoma using a triaxial accelerometer: a feasibility study. Presentation given at the British Sarcoma Group Conference. February, 2015. Nottingham, UK.
  • Laboratory based measurement of physical functioning after treatment for sarcoma using a triaxial accelerometer: a feasibility study. Presentation given at the 28th Annual meeting of the European Musculo-Skeletal Oncology Society. April, 2015. Athens, Greece.
  • Evaluating physical activity in the community after sarcoma treatment using triaxial accelerometry. A new paradigm for outcome assessment? Presentation given at the Scottish Sarcoma Network Education Day. May, 2015. Perth, UK.****
  • Evaluating physical activity in the community after sarcoma treatment using triaxial accelerometry. A new paradigm for outcome assessment? Presentation given at the British Orthopaedic Association. September, 2015. Liverpool, UK.
  • Accelerometer based measurement of balance and gait after treatment for lower extremity musculoskeletal cancer in the clinic: a feasibility and validity study. Presentation given at the British Sarcoma Group Conference. March, 2017. Bristol, UK.
  • Accelerometer based measurement of balance and gait in the clinical after treatments for lower extremity sarcomas. Presentation given at the Musculoskeltal Tumour Society Conference. October, 2018. New York, USA.

Further Funding

  • Further funding of £3,240 secured from the Northern Orthopaedic Research (N.O.R.T.H) Charity for a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) course to be completed by Sherron Furtado at the Newcastle University. 2016.
  • Further funding of £18,743 secured from the Northern Orthopaedic Research (N.O.R.T.H) Charity to Gerrand, C. Rochester, L. and Furtado, S. This funding will support ongoing research into new assessments of functional outcomes after treatment for Bone and Soft Tissue tumour patients. 2014.
  • Further funding of £16,206 secured from the Research Capability Funding to Gerrand, C., Furtado, S., Rankin, K. and Snowden, C’s project entitled: Develop musculoskeletal research programme in Sarcoma to develop the theme of Physical functioning, performance status and biomarkers in patients with sarcoma. 2014-15.
  • Further funding of £18,283 secured from the Shears Foundation for funding novel rehabilitation models for assessment and treatment in patients treated for musculoskeletal cancer. 2016.
  • Further funding of £33,382 secured from RCF to Gerrand, C., Furtado, S. and Rochester, L. to develop a national cohort of sarcoma patients to investigate physical functioning.

Other

  • Sherron Furtado was awarded a PhD in the topic of Rehabilitation and Physical Functioning after Treatment for Lower Extremity Musculoskeletal Tumours.
  • Sherron Furtado was awarded the Young Investigators Award for Best Podium Presentation at the 2018 Musculoskeletal Tumour Society in New York.
  • The presentation given on the Accelerometer based measurement of balance and gait in the clinic after treatments for lower extremity sarcoma was acknowledged as innovative research.
 
Project status: 
completed