Dr Trevor Graham and his team examined how quickly the cells in polyps were evolving because they thought that the cells that evolve the fastest may correspond to an increased risk of developing bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer develops, in the vast majority of cases, from polyps which grow in the bowel. However, polyps are not uncommon and not all polpys will develop into bowel cancer.

If we can find a way of identifying those more likely to develop, we can focus resources on higher risk patients. This will take low risk patients out of the system, relieving them of the stress of regular colonoscopies as well as reducing the strain on services.

The project completed in May 2015 and Trevor went on to secure £1m from Cancer Research UK and £500,000 from Barts Charity to take his studies forward. He said of our support

Bowel & Cancer Research funding has been absolutely integral to the success of this work. Specifically the funding has allowed us to perform the expensive genomic assays we would otherwise not have been able to run.