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BETTER TREATMENTS FOR BREATHLESSNESS IN PALLIATIVE AND END OF LIFE CARE

Objective

The BETTER-B consortium tests whether mirtazapine, currently used as an antidepressant, is an effective treatment to reduce chronic or refractory breathlessness (CB) in patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary or interstitial lung disease (COPD or ILD) needing palliative care or at the end of life.

Our focus is on breathlessness that persists despite optimal treatment of the underlying condition. This widespread and frightening symptom has a major detrimental impact on patients’ quality of life and distresses their family, friends and carers. It is associated with physical and psychosocial morbidity and results in high use of health care services, including emergency care.

There are no licenced medicines for CB in the world. It is a major challenge to clinical management, care quality and patient wellbeing. We have completed a feasibility trial in 60 patients, reviews and case studies that suggest mirtazapine is a promising treatment.

To assess if mirtazapine is effective, we conduct a randomised double blind clinical trial of mirtazapine versus placebo in patients with CB and COPD or ILD. The trial recruits 324 patients over 18 months across respiratory, palliative care and community services in Poland, Ireland, Italy, Germany and the UK. We study the effects of treatment over time on patients, their family or caregivers and care costs. We survey clinicians and produce accessible European guidance on treating CB.

The consortium unites a unique multi-disciplinary group of clinician scientists from respiratory, palliative, geriatric and rehabilitation fields, alongside statisticians, trialists, health economists, health care researchers, patient and consumer groups and a European Society. This ensures the optimal design and operation of the trial and the widest impact from its results.

Using an existing medicine for a different purpose offers a highly cost-effective approach for treatment that can be implemented and sustained internationally.

Call for proposal

H2020-SC1-2018-Single-Stage-RTD
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
Address
Strand
WC2R 2LS London
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 395 122,75

Participants (12)

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, DUBLIN
Ireland
EU contribution
€ 476 203,75
Address
Belfield
4 Dublin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
AZIENDA UNITA SANITARIA LOCALE DI REGGIO EMILIA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 283 960
Address
Via Amendola 2
42100 Reggio Emilia
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
UNIWERSYTET MIKOLAJA KOPERNIKA W TORUNIU
Poland
EU contribution
€ 76 290
Address
Ul. Jurija Gagarina 11
87100 Torun
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
KLINIKUM DER UNIVERSITAET ZU KOELN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 170 383,25
Address
Kerpener Strasse 62
50937 Koeln
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
GDANSKI UNIWERSYTET MEDYCZNY
Poland
EU contribution
€ 97 612,50
Address
Ulica M Sklodowskiej Curie 3A
80210 Gdansk
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITA CATTOLICA DEL SACRO CUORE
Italy
EU contribution
€ 88 987,50
Address
Largo Gemelli 1
20123 Milano
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
LUDWIG-MAXIMILIANS-UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 230 812,50
Address
Geschwister Scholl Platz 1
80539 Muenchen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 106 095
Address
University Park
NG7 2RD Nottingham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 669 111,25
Address
Woodhouse Lane
LS2 9JT Leeds
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY
Australia
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Broadway Building 1 Ultimo Nsw
2007 Sydney
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE PROVOST, FELLOWS, FOUNDATION SCHOLARS & THE OTHER MEMBERS OF BOARD OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY & UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN
Ireland
EU contribution
€ 109 671,25
Address
College Green
2 Dublin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EUROPEAN RESPIRATORY SOCIETY
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 65 750
Address
Avenue Sainte Luce 4
1003 Lausanne
Activity type
Other