Help us to stop bowel cancer

Current research projects

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 very few 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.

What are we doing?

In partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of England, we are investing £500,000 into bowel cancer surgical research. This will see the establishment of the first-ever Colorectal Cancer Surgical Research Chair and a network of the Bowel Cancer UK Colorectal Cancer Surgical Research Fellows. 

Surgical Research Chair

The Colorectal Cancer Surgical Research Chair will be a leader in their field and support and help drive forward:

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

Bowel Cancer UK surgical research fellows network

We will also establish a network of Bowel Cancer UK Surgical Research Fellows across the UK, to help create the next generation of leading colorectal surgeons and continue improvements in high-quality surgery for patients. 

Read the full press release here

Our first Bowel Cancer UK/RCS Research Fellow, Marta Penna, is exploring a new surgical technique pioneered to overcome many of the challenges faced by surgeons operating on rectal cancer.

Read more about our Bowel Cancer UK/Royal College of Surgeons of England jointly-funded fellowship.

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

We are determined to save lives from bowel cancer but we can’t do this without you. Support vital research and lifesaving work to stop bowel cancer.
We are determined to save lives from bowel cancer but we can’t do this without you. Support vital research and lifesaving work to stop bowel cancer.

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