New grant to speed up bowel cancer diagnosis

Posted by ap507 at Apr 26, 2018 03:58 PM |
Researchers investigate whether it’s possible to find DNA from cancer cells in stool samples

Issued by University of Leicester on 26 April 2018

Scientists from Leicester, working with Edinburgh, have been awarded a grant of almost £25,000 from Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer to investigate whether it’s possible to find DNA from cancer cells in stool samples.

If successful, this technique could be used in the future to improve the current bowel cancer screening programme and speed up the diagnosis of the disease for patients with symptoms.  

This award is part of Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer’s investment of almost £450,000 to support research with the greatest benefits for those at risk and affected by the disease.

This research supports the charity’s vision that by 2050 no one will die from bowel cancer. The disease is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK. However, it shouldn’t be because it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.

Dr Evropi Theodoratou, University of Edinburgh, says: “One of best ways to tackle cancer will be to detect it earlier, and identify who is at risk so that they can take preventative measures. Using what we learn from our research, we hope we can work with policymakers to help improve the bowel cancer screening programme.”

“This award wouldn’t have been possible without the money raised by Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer supporters and we are so grateful to all the people that support our research,” added Dr Alessandro Rufini, University of Leicester.

Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer, says: “We are delighted to invest in Drs Theodoratou and Rufini’s research. Their important work will support our commitment to invest in high quality, innovative and creative solutions to help lead a step change in the number of people surviving bowel cancer.

“We’ve been at the forefront of campaigning for improvements for earlier diagnosis.  Whilst there have been  important steps forward,  there are still many unanswered research questions, which if addressed could help accelerate our progress further and ultimately save more lives.  Through strategic investment in targeted research, we aim to drive positive change for patients and help to deliver improvements in bowel cancer survival in our lifetime.”

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Notes to editors

About Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer

Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer is the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity. We are determined to save lives, improve the quality of life and support all those affected by bowel cancer. We enable and fund research, provide information and support to patients and their families, educate the public and professionals about the disease and campaign for early diagnosis and best treatment and care for all.

About bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer, affecting both men and women. Every 15 minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer. That’s almost 42,000 people every year.

Bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer. However, this drops significantly as the disease develops. Early diagnosis really does save lives.

Symptoms of bowel cancer include:

• Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo

• A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit

• Unexplained weight loss

• Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason

• A pain or lump in your tummy

Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. If you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, see your GP.

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