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Bowel cancer charity awards grants

Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer is funding six bowel cancer research projects totaling nearly £440,000, part of the charity’s investment to support research with the greatest benefits for those at risk and affected by the disease.

All the research projects support 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.

Five projects which have already been allotted grants are:

– Dr Evropi Theodoratou and Dr Alessandro Rufini from the University of Edinburgh and University of Leicester will investigate whether it’s possible to find DNA from bowel cancer cells using the Faecal Immunochemical Test.

– Dr Claire Palles from the University of Birmingham will examine the genes of bowel cancer patients under the age of 50 to help better identify people at higher risk of the disease in the future.

– Professor Sir John Burn and Dr Jem Rashbass from Newcastle University and Health Data Insight CiC will create a national database of people with Lynch syndrome to help improve their treatment and care.

– Dr Juliet Usher-Smith from the University of Cambridge will investigate whether people living in England should be invited to take part in the bowel cancer screening programme based on their genes and lifestyle factors, not just based on their age.

– Dr Caroline Young from the University of Leeds will look at whether differences in the microbiome (the bacteria that live in the gut) could be playing a role in the number of young people diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer, says: “This is one of the charity’s most exciting announcements as this is our first round of grant awards. This is part of 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.” One more project will be announced shortly.

For more information about our research grants, visit: bowelcanceruk.org.uk/research

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