Bowel Cancer UK launch £430,000 fundraising appeal

Professor Mike Griffin OBE, President-Elect RCSEd. Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive, Bowel Cancer UK. Professor Stephen Wigmore, RCSEd Research Committee Chair

Bowel Cancer UK, in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, launch a £430,000 fundraising appeal for surgical bowel cancer research to establish Scotland’s first Colorectal Cancer Surgical Research Chair.

Bowel cancer is Scotland’s second biggest cancer killer. However it shouldn’t be because it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Surgery is the most common treatment for this cancer and central to curing the disease, yet investment in surgical research is sorely lacking.

Investing in surgical research is crucial to develop more effective and personalised life-saving treatments, standardise surgery and care for patients regardless of where they live and minimise side-effects for everyone who has an operation.

“Over the years, surgical clinical trials have had a huge impact on improving the outcomes for people with bowel cancer”

Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh will establish Scotland’s first Colorectal Cancer Surgical Research Chair in partnership with a Scottish university to drive forward the surgical clinical trial agenda for bowel cancer, growing the number of surgical trials focussed on bowel cancer and increasing patient access to them.

The partnership will support the position for four years, after which time it will be funded by the hosting university. The Chair will lead, support and help drive forward:

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

Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, says: “We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh to launch our ‘Improving Surgery, Saving Lives’ appeal to fund the first Colorectal Cancer Surgical Research Chair in Scotland. Clinical trials are vital for taking potential treatment developments from research ideas to translating them into new drugs, diagnostic tests and surgical treatments for patients. Over the years, surgical clinical trials have had a huge impact on improving the outcomes for people with bowel cancer.  Most recently, we have seen great advances in using drugs and surgery in combination to help shrink the tumours to a size that makes surgery more likely to be effective at curing patients. Only surgical clinical trials offer us the evidence to know this is safe and effective.”

Professor Steve Wigmore, College Research Chair at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, says: “We are committed to supporting the best surgical research to deliver tangible outcomes for patients. To achieve this we work with others to maximise our impact. Our partnership with Bowel Cancer UK marks an important milestone in our attempts to address a form of cancer that kills over 16,000 people a year in the UK. Committing our resources to this new Research Chair will allow us to address the causes of this terrible condition and bring hope to the thousands diagnosed each year.”