​After previous work with the Bone Cancer Research Trust, Dr Richard McNally continued his studies into possible causes and underlying factors relating to the development of osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma.

The aim of this research was to determine any socio-economic patterns to osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma deaths in Great Britain, and assess the associations between residence in rural areas and the risk of developing these forms of cancer. The final assessment point in this research study was to evaluate any link between delays in diagnosis and access to hospital based care.

What did this project discover?

Dr Richard McNally took on a major exercise to obtain the volume of data required to assess the aims set out for this study; which analysed 2432 osteosarcoma cases and 1711 Ewing sarcoma cases for patients aged between 0 and 49 years of age.

Findings of this extensive study were that an earlier death was associated to those living in areas of higher unemployment for osteosarcoma cases; suggesting delays in diagnosis of osteosarcoma may be linked to social and economic status.

Previous research by this group have shown characteristics of rural environments (such as low population density and high level of car ownership) to correlate to a higher incidence of Ewing sarcoma. This study looked further into this and analysed associations between Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma with agricultural land usage. However, no association was found in this study.

Further research may indicate other activities in rural environments to be associated to the incidence of these tumours, such as livestock farming, and so Dr Richard McNally will continue his work into determining underlying causes and associations of these tumour types.

This project was funded in 2010

Read more about Dr Richard McNally's work with us here and here.

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