Pathways of management for stage IV disease
Project reference number – 0079
Principal investigators – Alex Gordon Weeks
Plain language summary - When a person is diagnosed with stage IV bowel cancer it means the cancer cells have spread from the bowel into other organs of the body. This stage of the disease (also called metastatic disease) is the most advanced. However, there are a wide range of treatments available including chemotherapy, surgery, immunotherapy and radiotherapy. Choosing which therapies to use can be difficult and will depend on many factors. These factors include how far the tumour has spread, any other health conditions the patient may have, their willingness to undergo treatments that may have side effects, and the advice they get from their doctor.
Currently there is very little information about how people with stage IV disease are managed across the English NHS but there is a concern that there may be a ‘postcode lottery’ with different treatments being given in different hospitals. This project will help us understand which patients get which treatments, how this relates to outcomes and if there are differences in patterns of care across the country. The results will help improve the clinical care of people diagnosed with stage IV disease and help researchers design clinical trials for new treatments.