Clinical research on lower gastrointestinal cancer

What is lower gastrointestinal cancer?

Lower gastrointestinal cancers includes colon, rectal and anal cancers.

Colon and rectal cancers are usually grouped together and called colorectal cancer or bowel cancer. Around 41,300 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK each year. It is the 4th most common cancer in the UK.

Anal cancer is a rare cancer that starts in the anus. It is more common in women than men and around 50% occur in people aged 65 or over. Around 1300 people are diagnosed each year in the UK. About 80% of anal cancers are squamous cell cancers and typical start in squamous cells, which make up the lining of the anal canal. About 20% of anal cancers are a type called non epidermoid cancers and these include adenocarcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, small cell cancers and undifferentiated cancers. Treatment for anal cancer depends on where it is in the anus, how big it is and whether it has spread anywhere else in the body. Treatment can include chemoradiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

The Cambridge Colorectal Cancer Group (CCCG) has broad interests including basic research in colorectal cancer cells and animal models on the cell-biological and molecular mechanisms underpinning the disease. The Group also conducts translational and clinical investigations on prognostic biomarkers, early detection and recurrence of disease, metastasis and cancer therapy. Samples from over 2,000 colorectal cancer patients are being used to create full pathological records and family histories to increase our understanding of the disease.

Current open trials in Cambridge

The table below lists the current open trials for colorectal cancer coordinated by the Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre. If you would like further information about how to take part in any of the clinical trials listed here, please talk to your cancer specialist as patients usually need to be referred by their doctor


Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre contact for lower gastrointestinal (lower GI) cancer trials: Dr Lizzy Smyth


Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Department of Oncology
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, AstraZeneca
Not applicable/other
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Department of Oncology