Miss Nicola Fearnhead

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University departments
Department of Surgery

Position: Clinical Consultant
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Research description

Miss Nicola Fearnhead has been a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge since 2006. She is a graduate of Pembroke College, Cambridge and Merton College, Oxford where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Surgical training was undertaken in Bristol and Oxford followed by an International Fellowship in Advanced Colorectal Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA in 2005.

Subspecialty interests include advanced pelvic malignancy and exenteration surgery, transanal endoscopic microsurgery, management of anal cancer including salvage surgery, laparoscopic colorectal surgery, inflammatory bowel disease and especially perianal Crohn's disease, pelvic floor disorders including rectovaginal fistula repair, intestinal failure and functional bowel disorders.

Research interests include genetic predisposition to colorectal cancer, functional outcomes after anal cancer treatment, perianal Crohn's disease and clinical research in a wide number of areas. She led the ACPGBI's development of a research strategy with integrated patient and public involvement (the Delphi Research Programme) while Chair of ACPGBI's Research & Audit Committee from 2013-2017. She was awarded the Patient Liaison Group's Patient Champion Award in 2017. She has been a member of the NCRI Colorectal CSG surgical subgroup since 2014 and was appointed Chair of the subgroup in 2018. She serves on the trial management groups of HiP, CReST2, PREPARE-ABC and STAR-TREC, and on the independent data monitoring committee of OPERA.

She chaired the Clinical Advisory Group for the National Bowel Cancer Audit 2014 to 2018 and led the national programme for Consultant Outcome Publication in bowel cancer surgery on behalf of the ACPGBI from 2014 to 2016. She was appointed Clinical Co-Lead of the National Bowel Cancer Audit in 2019.

She served as Honorary Secretary of ACPGBI's IBD Clinical Advisory Group from 2016 to 2018, co-authored the 2017 Ileoanal Pouch Report and co-edited the 2018 ACPGBI Guidelines in IBD Surgery. She was selected for the RCS Emerging Leader's programme in 2015 and sits on the RCS Fellowships Committee.

Nicola Fearnhead is currently President-Elect of ACPGBI. She is also Chair of the Steering Group for the collaborative-led National Audit of SBO, on the steering committee of the NCEPOD Acute Bowel Obstruction enquiry, co-convenor of the IMPACT initiative and a Trustee of the Bowel Disease Research Foundation. She serves as a medical adviser to Bowel Cancer UK and Crohn's and Colitis UK, and sits on the Programme Committee for ESCP.

Research Programme
Aerodigestive Cancer
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Key publications

Rosich-Medina A, Ariyaratnam J, Koo B, Turner WH, Fearnhead NS, Durrani A, Davies RJ. (2012) The utility of CT angiography in planning perineal flap reconstruction following radical pelvic surgery. Int J Surg. 10(4):217-20. Fearnhead NS, Winney B, Bodmer WF. (2005) Rare variant hypothesis for multifactorial inheritance: susceptibility to colorectal adenomas as a model. Cell Cycle. 4(4):521-5. Fearnhead NS, Wilding JL, Winney B, Tonks S, Bartlett S, Bicknell DC, Tomlinson IP, Mortensen NJ, Bodmer WF. (2004) Multiple rare variants in different genes account for multifactorial inherited susceptibility to colorectal adenomas. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 101(45):15992-7.