The Blog

This Is What The Most Advanced Bowel Cancer Trial Is Doing For Patients

Stuart has terminal bowel cancer but is a remarkable man.

What struck me talking to him for this week's podcast was how he shoulders this burden with such incredible positivity and determination. He won't let cancer change who he is, and he won't tiptoe around the subject.

I found Stuart's approach to dealing with cancer inspiring. There's no getting away from the fact that this disease can be terrifying. But Stuart shows that if we talk openly about our struggles and our triumphs, and unite to give our researchers the tools and support they need, we can be more than a match for cancer.

Listen to incredible scientist and doctor, Professor Tim Maughan describing what is arguably the world's most advanced clinical trial for bowel cancer that is helping people just like Stuart.

I've never really liked talking about someone 'fighting their cancer'. That sort of language comes from a good place, but I worry that people may think that if the cancer is winning, then someone isn't fighting hard enough. That categorically is not the case.

Treatments can break the resolve of anyone and if the treatment isn't working then no amount of 'fighting' can help. It's the cancer drugs that lost the fight, never the person.

I think the burden of cancer should be shared. We should try and be like my childhood favourites, the Power Rangers. Individually they were beatable, but when they inevitably teamed up - BOOM they won. If you like, Stand Up To Cancer is basically a Megazord, the vast machine that will fight for us all.

For my part, I do my best to give a voice to our biggest weapons - the scientists, doctors and nurses who give up so much to beat this disease. People like Professor Tim Maughan, who is leading the extraordinary bowel cancer trial called FOCUS4 described in this week's episode that could change the way we treat this disease.

Because no two cancers are exactly the same, even if they come from the same organ, it can be very difficult to treat. That's why we will never beat cancer with just one type of treatment. What we need is to match each cancer to the best available treatment for it.

Professor Maughan's trial team are doing exactly that. They look at the genetics of individual bowel cancers to identify which treatment will have the best chance of success for that person. The team are also set up to react to the latest discoveries, adding exciting new drugs to the trial far faster than ever before. I believe this represents the future of clinical trials, and it is exactly the sort of thing that Stand Up To Cancer loves to support. You can read more about Tim's incredible trial here.

Listen and subscribe to the podcast on AudioBoom, Spotify,iTunes or with RSS on your favourite podcast player.

We can only beat cancer together. I urge you to join our Stand Up To Cancer rebellion today so we will all have one less thing to fear tomorrow.