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Project Reference Number – 0073

Principal Investigator – Adam Pennycuick

Plain language summary - After surgery for bowel cancer, chemotherapy is often given as an extra (adjuvant) treatment. This is done to reduce the chances of the cancer returning.  However, chemotherapy can have serious side effects and helping patients decide when the possible benefit is worth the risk of those side effects is difficult. Most of the current evidence comes from clinical trials that compared groups of patients at a similar disease stage with and without extra treatment. 

The information that is generated by clinical trials is very valuable, but it is not perfect. Firstly, it only includes patients who were well enough to take part. Secondly, the number of patients involved in those trials is quite small when compared to the number of people who are diagnosed with bowel cancer. As a result, it is often very difficult to work out the risks/benefits for an individual patient. CORECT-R offers information on a much larger number of patients who have received these treatments. Some of these patients would not have been able to take part in the original clinical trials. Studying information from such a large group of patients can greatly improve our judgement of treatment risks and benefits. 

Using our results, we want to create a website to help doctors work out the risks and benefits of adjuvant treatment. This can inform their discussions with patients and improve their care.