Help us to stop bowel cancer

We're investing half a million pounds in bowel cancer surgical research

Today we, in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of England, announce £500,000 funding for bowel cancer surgical research to establish the UK’s first Colorectal Cancer Surgical Research Chair and establish a network of the charity’s Colorectal Cancer Surgical Research Fellows.

This announcement comes ahead of International Clinical Trials Day on Saturday 20 May 2017.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK. However it shouldn’t be because it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Surgery is the most common treatment for bowel cancer and central to curing the disease, yet investment in surgical research is too low.

Investing in surgical research is crucial to develop more effective and personalised life-saving treatments, standardise surgery and care for patients regardless of where they live and minimise side-effects for everyone who has an operation.

Together with the Royal College of Surgeons of England we will establish the UK’s first Colorectal Cancer Surgical Research Chair in partnership with a University to drive forward the surgical clinical trial agenda for bowel cancer, increasing the number of surgical trials focussed on bowel cancer and increasing patient access to them.

The Partnership will hold the position for four years and it will then be funded by the University.   The Chair will lead, support and help drive forward:

  • New and innovative surgical treatments for bowel cancer patients that are more effective and personalised
  • Partnerships to increase the number of surgical clinical trials for bowel cancer patients in the UK
  • Strategies to recruit more patients into existing surgical clinical trials

The partnership is also establishing a UK wide network of Bowel Cancer UK Colorectal Cancer Surgical Research Fellows to develop the surgical research leaders of tomorrow leading to continuous improvements in high-quality surgery for patients, which will in time save lives.

Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, says: “We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons for our first investment in bowel cancer surgical research. This funding forms a key part of our new five year research strategy, which will be published later this year.

Clinical trials are the bedrock of high quality medicine, and provide the best opportunity for making improvements in bowel cancer care.

“Clinical trials are vital for taking potential treatment developments from research ideas to translating them into new drugs, diagnostic tests and surgical treatments for patients. Over the years surgical clinical trials have had a huge impact on improving the outcomes for people with bowel cancer.  Most recently, we have seen great advances in using drugs and surgery in combination to help shrink the tumours to a size that makes surgery more likely to be effective at curing patients. Only surgical clinical trials offer us the evidence to know this is safe and effective.

“We are tremendously grateful for the generosity of our supporters who have enabled us to make this commitment to support this important area of research. However we still need to raise funds to further develop our work in this area so improvements can be made to surgical treatments leading to better outcomes for people affected by bowel cancer in the future.”

Professor Dion Morton, Director of Clinical Research at the Royal College Surgeons of England, says: “At a time when there are 100 new cases of bowel cancer in the UK every day, this funding could not come soon enough. Clinical trials are the bedrock of high quality medicine, and provide the best opportunity for making improvements in bowel cancer care.

“This funding will support the development of new studies so patients will be able to access innovative surgical techniques, combined with the best perioperative care for the best patient outcomes. Through these clinical trials, surgeons will learn more about the safety and effectiveness of new bowel cancer surgery techniques and how best to select patients for these treatments.”