BDRF-funded research into new treatment for a complicated form of bowel cancer has been extended to bring in hospitals from around the world.

Bowel cancer that has spread into the peritoneum is a particularly complicated and dangerous form of the disease. Treatment is challenging and highly specialised, with only a few centres in the UK currently able to offer other treatments beyond standard chemotherapy.

A relatively new hybrid treatment of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) followed by hyperthermic intraoperative peritoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) seems to be associated with better outcomes, and a BDRF funded research team at the Colorectal and Peritoneal Oncology Centre, the Christie, Manchester believe it could improve the care of thousands of UK patients. Since 2015 they have been developing a trial manual, intended for use in a major phase III clinical trial which could prove this theory and pave the way for CRS-HIPEC’s adoption as standard treatment.

Their initial work was presented to the UK & Ireland Peritoneal Malignancy Meeting in Dublin back in October 2017, receiving huge interest among specialists from across the globe. Collaborative involvement from other centres, especially those outside of the UK, will massively strengthen the project’s attempts to agree a common approach on recording the effectiveness of CRS-HIPEC and achieve the aim of creating a manual to underpin the phase III trial.

BDRF has granted a 15 month extension to the research, which will see input from hospitals in many other countries as well as across the UK & Ireland. Surveying and incorporating these different approaches into the project’s overall conclusions will enable a common approach to be agreed, driving forward crucial improvements in care.

Professor Andrew Renehan, who is supervising the research team, said “The treatment of bowel cancer that has spread to the peritoneum is complex but there are now exciting opportunities to cure what was once thought to be incurable. Funding from organisations like BDRF is invaluable and supports research that will benefit patients”

A diagnosis of bowel cancer having spread to the peritoneum is extremely frightening, but the advance of life-saving new treatments like this brings hope to thousands of patients and their families. A report on the project’s work so far is available below.

 IDEAL-PM report
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