Help us to stop bowel cancer

We are delighted to launch a major new research project

Bowel Cancer UK is announcing today on World Cancer Day (Thursday 4 February) a new research project which will bring together 100 clinicians and scientists to identify gaps in current research into bowel cancer which, if addressed, will help save the lives of thousands of people diagnosed with the disease.

This landmark study will be the most comprehensive review of bowel cancer research ever to take place in the UK and is the first research project to be announced by Bowel Cancer UK, as part of their ambitious move to become the UK's leading bowel cancer research charity.

The project will be co-chaired by Professor Richard Wilson, Clinical Director, Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Centre and Network at Queen's University Belfast and Chair of the NCRI clinical studies group, and Professor Ian Tomlinson from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford.

Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: "Our pledge is bold: We will transform survival rates, from only one in every two people surviving over five years, to three out of four people surviving bowel cancer by 2025. This research project, involving the brightest minds working in bowel cancer today, is the first important milestone in achieving this goal.

The major advances in saving lives from bowel cancer in the past 20 years have all come through research. Through strategic investment in targeted research, we will deliver improvements in bowel cancer survival in our lifetime."

The co-chair of the project, Professor Richard Wilson, said: "I'm delighted to be involved in this study which is a ground-breaking initiative.  Never before has such an ambitious, wide-ranging project been undertaken to identify key gaps in bowel cancer research, it has huge potential to make a real difference for patients."

Experts will collaborate across thematic working groups, covering risk, prevention, screening and early detection, curative treatment, stage 4 disease and living with and beyond bowel cancer, pathology, imaging and diagnostics and basic science.  A full report will be published at the end of 2016.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK. However it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Every year nearly 42,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with bowel cancer but too many of them are diagnosed late when the disease is too advanced to treat successfully, leading to over 16,000 deaths a year - more than breast or prostate cancer.