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Bowel cancer research

Men and women discussing bowel cancer

This section tells you about research into bowel cancer causes, prevention and treatments.

All treatments have to be fully researched before they can be adopted as standard treatment for everyone. This is so that

  • We can be sure they work
  • We can be sure they work better than the treatments available at the moment
  • They are known to be safe

First of all, treatments are developed and tested in laboratories. For ethical and safety reasons, experimental treatments must be tested in this way before they can be tried in patients. If a treatment described here is said to be at the laboratory stage of research, it is not ready for patients and is not available either within or outside the NHS.

Cancer Research UK supports a lot of UK laboratory research into cancer and also supports many clinical trials. Tests in patients are called clinical trials. Our trials and research section has information about what trials are, including information about the 4 phases of trials. If you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial for bowel cancer, visit our searchable database of clinical trials. If you are interested in a particular trial, print it off and take it to your own specialist. If the trial is suitable for you, your doctor will need to make a referral to the research team. The database also has information about closed trials and trial results.

All the new approaches covered in this section are the subject of ongoing research. Until studies are completed and new treatments are found to be safe and reliable, they cannot be used as standard therapy for bowel cancer.  

 There is information in this section about 

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Updated: 21 September 2015