40tude is funding a pioneering research project called the PROGRESS project to help improve the understanding and clinical management of polyps, the pre-cursor to cancer.

Bowel cancer develops from pre-cancerous growths in the colon called polyps. Polyps can be detected through screening and can be easily removed, preventing colon cancer. 

Patients who have polyps detected and removed are considered at an increased risk of colon cancer and so are potentially enrolled into long-term surveillance, usually through colonoscopy. The PROGRESS team are working to achieve a biomarker which accurately predicts which patients will never progress to colon cancer, potentially reducing the need for unnecessary intervention and procedures, benefiting both the patient and the NHS.

As a result of this research NHS resources could be focused more accurately on those patients at increased risk of developing colon cancer, avoiding unnecessary interventions for low-risk patients.

As is the case for the other projects 40tude has supported, this pioneering work could influence national and international guidelines – in this case for treating patients who have polyps detected, benefiting tens of thousands of people in the UK alone.