What issue does this study address, and how could the results help patients?

In the UK, bowel cancer is diagnosed in >40,000 people per year. Despite treatment, 40% will die within 5 years, often because the cancer spreads, commonly to the liver, lungs and peritoneum. The peritoneum is a lining surrounding the abdominal organs. Unfortunately, bowel cancer that has spread to the peritoneum (CRPM) is difficult to treat and people do not survive for long. There is an urgent need to understand why people develop CRPM. Early results from this research team suggest bacteria in the gut may be an important part of why people develop CRPM. If we can better understand why people develop CRPM, we can work towards improving the treatments that are available. This will hopefully increase survival of those with this devastating complication of bowel cancer.

The research team

This study is led by Ms Meera Patel, a Trainee Colorectal Surgeon working at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester. Ms Patel also holds an Academic Clinical Lecturer post at the University of Manchester.