These are the research projects that BDRF have funded.
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Assessing the predictive accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in determining which low-rectal cancers require enhanced surgery
Colorectal cancer is the third commonest cancer in the UK today. About one third of cases (12,000 every year) occur in the rectum itself, and surgery represents the best chance of cure.
How do sensory nerves work in the human bowel, and can we improve pain relief for people suffering from two chronic bowel diseases?
Sensory nerves carry information from outlying parts of the body to the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system). Different sensory nerves convey information about pain, temperature, touch, taste etc. to the brain.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disease which affects up to 120,000 people in Great Britain and Ireland. The underlying cause is unknown but probably relates to an abnormal immune response to an environmental challenge such as bacteria inside the bowel.
Current bowel cancer screening tests are less than 100% accurate; what is the impact on patients’ psychological well-being and ultimate survival if bowel cancer is diagnosed after a false negative screening result (that is, cancer not present) but before the next round of screening?
Screening for bowel cancer has recently been introduced across the UK. In order for screening to do ‘more good than harm’, adverse effects (including on psychological outcomes) need to be kept to a minimum.
Scientific evidence shows that taking aspirin regularly over a long period reduces a person’s risk of developing bowel and rectal cancer. This project aims to discover the precise effects of aspirin in cancer cells and the large bowel.
In bowel cancer patients, does the internal scarring caused by radiotherapy still contain cancer cells, and therefore need to be removed in surgery along with diseased parts of the colon?
Rectal cancer patients are often given radiotherapy before surgery. Its purpose is to damage and kill tumour cells enough to improve surgery’s outcome. This process results in tumour cells being replaced by scar tissue (fibrosis).
During keyhole surgery for bowel disease, will a new technique of pain relief lead to enhanced recovery?
Keyhole (or laparoscopic) surgery for bowel disease (KSBD) has brought great benefits, enabling patients to recover quicker from surgery and so return sooner to normal activities. Although KSBD produces less pain than conventional bowel surgery, it still causes enough pain to necessitate strong pain-killing medications such as morphine-like drugs.
IBD comprises ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These diseases cause inflammation in the bowel resulting in acute or chronic ill health. A serious complication is development of bowel cancer.
To learn why women develop bowel incontinence after childbirth. The aim is to provide better treatment in future
The plan is to compare mothers who suffer from incontinence of wind and waste after childbirth with healthy volunteers. There are two groups of women who cannot control their bowel after having a baby.
To find out more about women developing bowel incontinence after childbirth who do not have a sphincter injury but have a damaged pelvic floor
The plan is to focus on mothers whose pelvic floor no longer functions normally. These patients often present with genital prolapse or bowel incontinence 20 or 30 years after having children.