Beating bowel cancer together

Investing in new research projects with a spotlight on early diagnosis of bowel cancer

Thursday 2 March 2023

We're delighted to announce we have awarded grants worth over £93,000 to four new research projects for 2023, aimed at increasing early diagnosis of bowel cancer.

The new research projects will be looking into a range of different areas that have the potential to improve early diagnosis – from researching new methods of diagnosing early-stage bowel cancer, to looking at reasons people don't take part in screening.

Bowel cancer is the UK's fourth most common cancer, and the second biggest cancer killer but it doesn't have to be this way. It's treatable if diagnosed early, but currently fewer than 40% of people are diagnosed at an early stage (stage 1 and 2) when treatment has the best chance of working and the chances of survival are at its highest.

The four funded projects are:

  • The team led by Professor Nathalie Juge from Quadram Institute Bioscience will look to develop a new blood test that could be used in combination with faecal immunochemical testing (FIT) to improve the effectiveness of bowel cancer screening.
  • Dr Christina Dobson from Newcastle University will be exploring the reasons why people don't complete FIT after visiting their doctor with potential symptoms and looking at ways to support more people to complete the test.
  • Dr Annie Baker at The Institute of Cancer Research, London will be investigating when a limited resection (removal of part of the bowel) can safely prevent cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), who have an increased risk of developing bowel cancer.
  • Professor Joanne Edwards at the University of Glasgow will look at predicting the probability of cancer spread (metastasis) in patients with early-stage bowel cancer, which could lead in the future to earlier diagnosis and improved treatment options for bowel cancer patients.

Dr Lisa Wilde, Director of Research and External Affairs at Bowel Cancer UK says: "We're thrilled to be supporting these excellent new research projects, which have the potential to turn the tide on diagnosing bowel cancer earlier to save more lives. We'll be following their progress with great interest.

"2023 is an exciting year for us, where we're aiming to invest further into vital bowel cancer research. We want to secure a future where most people are diagnosed at the earliest stage; investing in research is one of the best ways to do this."

We support and fund research to help stop people dying of bowel cancer and over the last five years, we've invested £1.3 million to support research with the greatest benefits for those at risk of and affected by the disease.

More details and information on the individual research projects will be available on our website soon.

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