Major new NIHR grant could help patients with early bowel cancer avoid unnecessary chemotherapy after surgery
Researchers at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research, London, have been awarded a prestigious £3 million grant by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to investigate whether a blood test can identify which bowel cancer patients will benefit from chemotherapy following surgery.
Professor David Cunningham, TRACC study lead, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden and Director of the NIHR BRC at The Royal Marsden and the ICR, said:
“We are striving to deliver personalised care to our patients so that the patients who really need chemotherapy after bowel cancer surgery get it and those who do not can avoid the side effects of treatment without a detriment to cure and have better quality of life.
The use of a simple blood test to tailor treatments to individual patients could revolutionise treatment for operable bowel cancer within five to eight years, sparing around 6,500 patients from unnecessary chemotherapy every year and leading to considerable savings for the NHS. “
Peter Wheatstone, Patient Advocate for the NIHR BRC at The Royal Marsden and the ICR, and co-applicant on the TRACC grant, said:
“As a bowel cancer patient, I agreed to have chemotherapy because it wasn’t possible to tell if all of the cancer had been removed by surgery. Although my treatment finished several years ago I still suffer from some of the long-term side effects of chemotherapy but have no idea whether I actually benefited from it.
The TRACC trial gives me hope that it may be possible to identify patients who do not require chemotherapy, sparing many from unnecessary side-effects.”