We want to transform bowel cancer survival rates. By 2025, we want to see the number of people surviving at least five years increase from 50% to 75%.
We know that the only way we will achieve this is by supporting and funding the most impactful bowel cancer research.
Our research strategy is focused on four key areas:
- Investigating the gaps in bowel cancer research
- Understanding bowel cancer in younger people
- Improving surgery for bowel cancer patients
- Putting patients at the heart of research
Our new research strategy is in development and will be available in spring 2017.
Our critical gaps project – investigating the gaps in bowel cancer research
We’ve brought together over 100 leading bowel cancer experts to identify gaps in bowel cancer research which, if addressed, will have the most impact on people affected by the disease.
This landmark study is the most comprehensive review of bowel cancer research ever to take place in the UK.
Find out more about our critical gaps project.
100,000 Genomes project
The project is currently the largest national sequencing project of its kind in the world. The project will decode 100,000 genomes from around 70,000 people
The aim is to create a new personalised medicine service for the NHS – transforming the way people are cared for. There is potential for new and more effective treatments.
How are we involved?
We sit on the Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (GeCIP) for bowel cancer, with a particular focus on communication and patient and public engagement.
Five members of our Medical Advisory Board also sit on the steering group:
- Dr Tim Iveson
- Professor Dion Morton
- Professor Ian Tomlinson
- Professor Richard Wilson
- Professor Sir John Burn
Find out more about Genomics England
S-CORT (Stratification in Colorectal Cancer)
S-CORT will use the latest genome-based technology to uncover the complex biology of bowel cancer samples collected from over 2,000 patients.
Knowing more about the genetics of each cancer means tumour types can be grouped or ‘stratified’ so that each patient can be better matched to the right treatment for them.
How are we involved?
We are a partner of the S-CORT consortium. We are specifically involved in supporting patient and public involvement in the project.
Improving surgery for bowel cancer patients
The most common bowel cancer treatment is surgery, yet only five percent of clinical trials in the UK are focused on surgery.
We want to ensure all bowel cancer patients have access to clinical trials and receive the best possible surgical treatment.
Without these trials, technological advances will be adopted more slowly, and less consistently, which could impact patient lives. This presents a major limiting factor in improving surgical care for patients.
Surgical research chair
In partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons, we are seeking to establish a colorectal cancer surgical research chair in England to help develop:
- New and innovative surgical treatments for bowel cancer
- Partnerships to increase the number of surgical clinical trials for bowel cancer patients
- Strategies to recruit more patients into existing clinical trials
We are also looking to expand the expertise available to develop new innovative methodologies for complex surgical interventions and ensure rapid and safe delivery to patients.
To achieve this, the Royal College of Surgeons is seeking to establish seven new independent ‘professorial chairs’. This academic position is given in recognition of a significant contribution to research. These professors will be appointed in collaboration with leading UK universities and one will be dedicated to bowel cancer.
Bowel Cancer UK surgical research fellows network
We have also agreed to work with the Royal College of Surgeons to establish a network of surgical research fellows across the UK, to help create the next generation of leading colorectal surgeons.
Bowel cancer in younger people
Risk tool for younger people with bowel symptoms
We championed the creation of and gained funding for a cutting edge research project to help speed up diagnosis of younger bowel cancer patients. The research was led by researchers at the University of Exeter and Durham University.
The researchers calculated risk of serious bowel disease and bowel cancer, based on patient symptoms. They used these risk values to create a risk assessment tool, which can be used by GPs to decide which patients should be referred for further investigation.
The results are published in the British Journal of General Practice.
Read our news article.
Never too young
We are campaigning for better diagnosis, treatment and care for bowel cancer patients under 50 as part of our Never Too Young campaign.
Read more about the campaign