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Patient experience of the Mesothelioma Stratified Therapy Trial (MiST): a qualitative study

Project Description

This PhD provides a unique opportunity for a student to conduct a qualitative patient experience health services research study within a complex stratified clinical trial for people with malignant mesothelioma (MM), the Mesothelioma Stratified Therapy Trial (MiST). The aim would be to generate insights into the patient experience of recruitment, consent and randomisation as well as the experience MiST Trial processes.

The qualitative study proposed for this PhD will be conducted with a team of health services researchers at the University of Sheffield with expertise of qualitative nested studies in trials (UNIQUAL. and experience of qualitative research in MM ( The PhD will be conducted in close collaboration with the University of Leicester who run MiST as well as Mesothelioma UK. Professor Dean Fennell from leicester is the Principle Investigator for MIST and will be on the supervisory panel. Mesothelioma UK is a national charity that supports people with mesothelioma and their family carers. Mesothelioma UK will also provide clinical advice for the doctoral student.

The Mesothelioma Stratified Therapy Trial (MiST) is Phase II multi-drug trial for malignant Mesothelioma (MM), funded by the British Lung Foundation. It is a multi-arm stratified therapy-based clinical trial for patients with relapsed mesothelioma. The goal of MiST is to enable acceleration of novel, effective personalised therapy as a basis for improving survival outcomes for patients with MM. The trial design is novel and potentially challenging for people with MM to understand.

In comparison to other cancers, MM has been under-researched.2,3 Mesothelioma is an aggressive condition with a median life expectancy of between 8 and 15 months.4 In the past, treatment was therefore considered palliative, and options were limited. In recent years new treatment have emerged, including immunotherapies. These offer promise to patients, however, robust evidence is required of clinical efficacy before they can be adopted and funded in routine practice. The MiST trial aims to accelerate the process of generating this evidence.

MiST is an umbrella trial under which different studies will be conducted. MiST could drive forward treatment options for people where historically there have been few options. There are few qualitative studies that generate knowledge of people’s pathway and experience through MM trials. Such evidence is essential if we are to understand motivations to participate in MM trials and respond to information and care challenges identified.

Qualitative research methods will be required and we would encourage students to think creatively in adopting and developing methods that are creative as well as acceptable and accessible to participants.

We request a provisional protocol to be submitted with the application. Potential applicants can contact Professor Angela Tod for information regarding this.

Interested candidates should in the first instance contact Professor Angela Tod ()

How to apply:
Please complete a University Postgraduate Research Application form available here:

Please clearly state the prospective main supervisor in the respective box and select “School of Nursing and Midwifery” as the department.

Funding Notes

This project is open to self-funded students only.

Eligibility Criteria

• First or Upper Second class honours degree in a health related subject.
• Research experience
• Understanding of health services research ethics and knowledge of conducting research with vulnerable participants.

• Masters in health services research or similar
• Experience of working with people with mesothelioma

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