Congratulations to Dr Simon Doran, NCITA Repository Unit manager (ICR), Professor Dow-Mu Koh, NCITA Governance Group member (ICR & RMH) and our NCITA coinvestigators Dr Martin Kaiser (ICR), Professor Tara Barwick (Imperial), Professor Christine Messiou (ICR) and Professor Andrea Rockall (Imperial) on their recent publication ‘Curation of myeloma observational study MALIMAR using XNAT: solving the challenges posed by real-world data’ in Insights into Imaging, published online on 16 February 2024.

The MAchine Learning In MyelomA Response (MALIMAR) study is an observational clinical study combining both retrospective and prospective “real-world” and clinical trial data, to examine myeloma response.  The data were acquired across three MRI scanners at two institutions over a 10-year window, necessitating the development of novel curation strategies to harmonize these data sources.  This involved aggregating and pseudonymising data as well as addressing disparities arising from changes in scan protocols and vendor algorithms.

The XNAT repository provided a centralized platform visible across multiple sites that not only facilitated day-to-day management of the data but also ensured consistency and robustness of the final dataset. The significance of such data repository platforms extends beyond mere data storage, offering rich application programming interfaces for data enrichment and programmatic quality assurance, which will be vital for future large-scale multi-institutional and multi-national imaging projects.

For more information on the NCITA Repository Unit, please visit our NCITA Repository Unit webpage, and the ICR/RM XNAT Repository website.