Cancer research project’s promising results lead to large-scale funding

23 May 2016

A recently completed cancer research grant has provided results that have now led to significant extra funding.

Our funding of £9,770 backed a study led by Dr Trevor Graham (pictured) of Barts Cancer Institute examining the potential success and usefulness of a test for bowel cancer tissue.

Bowel cancer screening typically detects around five adenomas (benign tumours) for each cancer identified. The risk of cancer in patients with these adenomas is uncertain, meaning patients tend to be offered further screening to look for early signs of cancer.

For many patients however, this additional screening is unnecessary as the patient may never develop cancer. There is therefore an urgent need for a simple test to predict which patients with such adenomas have an increased risk of developing cancer.

This study sought to develop a new genome-wide analysis for bowel cancer tissue. This development was successful and led to useful early data.

Now, Dr Graham has been awarded over £1m from Cancer Research UK for a six-year Early Career Development Award to develop the findings from this early research – aiming to potentially help patients through early prediction of risk of bowel cancer.

"We are very pleased that the preliminary data from our grant to Dr Graham has resulted in a major funding award from Cancer Research UK,” said Edel Brosnan, Grants Manager at Barts Charity.

“This work has the potential to transform patient experience for those undergoing regular surveillance for early signs of bowel cancer.”

Dr Graham added: “The seed funding from Barts Charity gave us the flexibility to explore new genome sequencing technologies, and being able to show that we could use this technology was an important step to secure our major funding from Cancer Research UK.

“Over the next six years we will use the new technology to develop a test that can predict which patients with adenomas really are at risk of cancer.”

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