EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T013753/1
Title: Discipline Hopping: Colorectal Cancer Therapy
Principal Investigator: Critchley, Dr K
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Discipline Hopping Awards
Starts: 01 January 2020 Ends: 31 December 2021 Value (£): 138,657
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Drug Formulation & Delivery Medical Imaging
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 Oct 2019 HT Investigator-led Panel Meeting - October 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
One in two people will have cancer during their lifetime. Cancer affects almost everyone whether it is friends, relatives, or the patient themselves. Over the last four decades, innovation in treatment has improved the outcome of many patients by extending life, improving quality of life, and even curing their cancer. However, 28% of all deaths in the UK are still due to cancer. Colorectal (or Bowel) cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, with over 110 cases diagnosed per day. The best-known treatment is surgical removal of the tumour; however, there are challenges to this operation. For example, it is not always easy to remove the entire tumour and failure to do so leads to recurrence. An important clinical need is to improve the surgeon's ability to identify the tumour margins. The other main treatments include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Unfortunately, they are not always successful and might only result in the extension of life or in the worse case have no measurable effect. It is widely recognised that difficult problems require a multidisciplinary approach. Creating new, more effective, cancer treatments is a big challenge, and almost all research funders (charities and research councils) recognise the benefits of multidisciplinary teams to find solutions. However, between the disciplines, there are knowledge gaps, which can slow down progress and lead to solutions to the wrong problems. In this proposed Healthcare Discipline Hopping Award, I will be learning, training, and researching all aspects of colorectal cancer treatment. This will give me the ability to build bridges between the disciplines. To do this I will be integrating with the clinical practice so that I can understand the diagnosis (screening, pathology, and imaging) and the treatment (surgery, radiotherapy, and ablation). I will attend the weekly clinical multidisciplinary colorectal cancer meetings, which decide the treatment plans for each patient. I will observe all of the different CRC surgical operations performed on patients, such as open, robotic, and laparoscopic. This will provide an opportunity to fully comprehend the unmet needs and challenges to surgery, such as determining the tumour margins. I will witness radiotherapy being performed and learn about the limitations and opportunities for further research. I will also find out more about early-stage clinical trials and how basic research is translated i.e. what data sets are required and what are the standards. I will learn about intraoperative ablation treatments and how these could be advanced in the future. I will have access to healthcare economic and healthcare technology assessment experts to obtain a complete picture of the challenges to not only developing new treatment methods but also recognising potential pitfalls from the early stages.

I will be integrating with on-going CRC research projects with clinical partners that are developing various strategies to investigate new treatments. By engaging with projects, I will be learning the key techniques used for in vitro and in vivo evaluation. To broaden my knowledge further, I have planned visits to other medical research centres in the UK, Canada and the Netherlands. Finally, there will be four focussed workshops that will look at the clinical needs of various CRC and other cancer treatments. Members of the groups will include patients, clinicians, scientists, engineers, and industry representatives. Going beyond this award, I will maintain the network of researchers that will be developed during the award.

Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk