By: 18 December 2020
New Research Roadmap sets a course towards a cure for osteoporosis

The Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) has recently launched a new Research Roadmap for leading clinicians and academics to develop better treatment methods and work towards a cure for osteoporosis.  The publication was launched through the Osteoporosis and Bone Research Academy at their digital conference Osteoporosis Online in December.

Academy Chair Professor Juliet Compston said: “The work outlined in the Research Roadmap will advance our understanding of this terrible disease and ultimately provide a route to a cure for osteoporosis, bringing hope to future generations.”

The Academy was launched in February 2019 by the ROS President, HRH Duchess of Cornwall. Bringing together leading national and international expertise, the Academy has undertaken reviews of key evidence to identify gaps in osteoporosis research and clinical care of patients. The ambition being a world in which osteoporotic fractures become a rare occurrence, rather than events which affect the lives of one in two older women and one in five older men.

Today’s Roadmap sets out how strategically targeted research will fill these knowledge gaps.  The ultimate aim, a world without osteoporosis, will be achieved through understanding causes, developing new technologies and enhancing therapeutic interventions to optimise bone health across the whole of life, and to ensure that every person who is at high risk of fracture is identified, assessed and treated appropriately.

Chief Executive of the Royal Osteoporosis Society Craig Jones said: “This new Research Roadmap is a milestone in our work to facilitate more effective treatments and to move towards a cure.  We’re determined not only to support the 3.5 million people living with osteoporosis in the present day, but also to lead a step change in research for future patients.”

The Roadmap demonstrates two contrasting bone health trajectories across life: one likely to end with fracture, and one resulting in healthy skeletal ageing. Along this lifecourse journey, the Academy researchers have identified key gaps in the evidence and care base – and developed cutting edge scientific approaches to tackling these.

The Roadmap presents state-of-the-art scientific projects which will improve bone health across life, and research to better understand the genetics, mechanisms and risk factors behind the disease. It also examines how new and novel technologies will help to advance diagnosis, detection and assessment of bone health, as well as new ways to improve the effectiveness of existing and developing treatments. The aim is to ensure that people living with osteoporosis receive the best care and enjoy the best possible quality of life.

Substantial funding will be sought to deliver this ambitious work, which has the potential to achieve a step change in the bone health of the population and in the care of patients with osteoporosis. Importantly, the Academy will also incorporate comprehensive input from scientists, clinicians and Patient Advocates.

Professor Nicholas Harvey, Academy Vice-chair said: “We are confident that as well as raising the profile of osteoporosis and awareness of the importance of bone health, the financial support gained through the Academy will bring about rapid advances that will take us forward on our journey to a cure for osteoporosis.”

ROS Research Roadmap – from knowledge to cure video link