Colorectal cancer is the second highest cause of cancer deaths in the UK. There is a protein called heat shock protein-27 (HSP27) which protects stressed cells from dying.
These are the research projects that BDRF have funded.
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Improving treatment of bowel cancer by studying the use of a specific protein during colonoscopy in order to identify those abnormal and cancer cells missed by current methods
Early forms of bowel cancer can be treated and the cancer removed, preventing the disease from returning. Colonoscopy is examination of the interior of the entire colon and rectum using a flexible illuminated camera-instrument introduced through the anus; it is important in the diagnosis and treatment of bowel cancer.
Investigation to discover if the presence of a genetic defect in a particular protein indicates that bowel cancer cells will not spread around the body, thus removing the need for chemotherapy
Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK. Treatment usually involves surgery to remove the main tumour and some patients require chemotherapy to reduce the risk of cancer cells spreading around the body. Up to a quarter of patients will have spread of cancer in the following 5 years, but not all bowel cancers act in the same way.
Identification of biological markers that will accurately predict whether or not patients with colorectal cancer need chemotherapy after their surgery
Patients who have colorectal cancer are often cured by surgery alone. However some patients will require chemotherapy after surgery. It is currently not always possible to identify which patients will benefit from having chemotherapy.
Investigation of blood flow in large and small blood vessels with the aim of improving outcomes for patients undergoing colorectal and other major surgery
Optimisation of blood supply to small vessels of vital organs during an operation may reduce complications associated with surgery. By using ultrasound placed in the gullet the amount of blood received during operations can be improved.
Can we develop more sensitive instruments for use in laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery which will make operations safer and reduce the complications associated with laparoscopic surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is increasingly used in the management of colorectal disease, and involves the use of long instruments inserted into the abdomen through small incisions.
The development of a tissue-engineered gut in the laboratory to improve bowel transplantation for those patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) who have suffered irreparable damage to their gut
Patients with IBD often suffer irreparable damage to their bowel tissue necessitating removal of the tissue in order to manage the disease. However, the consequence of removing significant lengths of bowel is that the gut no longer functions efficiently.
A new technique to enable doctors to predict accurately how a rectal cancer will respond to radiotherapy, and so reduce the under- and over-treatment of patients
Over 14,000 people are diagnosed with rectal cancer every year in the UK. Surgery remains the gold standard of treatment, but cures only about half of patients. Radiotherapy before surgery improves the outcome significantly in around 1 in 5 patients.
Studying a new technique to help doctors identify which patients with early-stage rectal cancer need only local treatment and which must have radical surgery (removal of the entire rectum)
Each year in the UK there are over 14,000 new cases of rectal cancer and the disease kills 4,700 people annually. The NHS has recently introduced bowel cancer screening every two years for the 8.8 million people between 60 and 75 years of age.
Can we make screening for bowel cancer more accurate, cheaper, and with a higher take-up rate, by using an “electronic nose” to test the patient’s urine?
Among non-smokers bowel cancer kills more people than any other cancer, and almost 40,000 new cases are diagnosed every year in the UK. If diagnosed early, the prognosis for bowel cancer is good with about 8 out of 10 patients surviving over five years.