What problem does this research address?

In the past doctors have tended to look at how we can cure the cancer but as more people are surviving the disease there is an urgent need to look into how to improve patient’s lives after cure. The results of having treatment for bowel cancer can leave 3 of 4 patients with poor control of their bowels for at least 1 year after surgery and for 25% of patients this can be a long term problem (known as LARS).

How will this study work?

The aim of this study is to find out how useful the treatments are and if the research team can find a treatment pathway that doctors can use to improve bowel function. The POLARiS study will include all patients from participating hospitals having surgery for bowel cancer on the left side that involves a join to the rectum (lower part of the bowel). The team aim to recruit patients in the UK, USA and the Netherlands. The three centres have experience of doing research in this area and the lead doctors are proactive in seeking solutions for the problems.

What could this study achieve?

By doing this the team will increase the awareness of the problem of poor bowel function after bowel surgery and potentially offer a solution that is available but often not used.

The research team

This research team will be led by Mrs Julie Cornish, a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon working at the University Hospital of Wales.