Treatment of Advanced Cancer

St Mark's already offers complex treatments for patients with advanced and recurrent bowel cancer and is one of a handful of units across the UK offering complex interventions.

St Mark’s already offers a variety of treatments for patients with advance and recurrent bowel cancer. It is one of the specialist units in the UK currently offering complex interventions.

The Complex Cancer Clinic is rapidly becoming one of the most in demand services because it provides a specialist service. This is due to the fact that it is multidisciplinary in its approach, and this is maintained throughout the entirety of the patient journey.

There are a number of challenges relating to advanced cancer

  • Each year 16,000 people die from the disease, most having been diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer
  • Complex treatments are still necessary for patients diagnosed with advanced and recurrent disease
  • Discerning which treatments work best for a patient

In order to deliver new treatments to combat these challenges, sophisticated approaches are required. These will need to be based on a detailed understanding of the behaviour of each cancer. Hence, the use of new drugs, different approaches to surgery and novel forms of radiotherapy need to be explored.

Developments include

  • Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotheraphy (HIPEC)
  • Mobile intraoperative radiotheraphy
  • Contact radiotheraphy
  • Re-irradiation protocols
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Novel ablative therapies for advanced and recurrent bowel cancer

St Mark’s will introduce and test new means of radiological imaging to assess the extent of advanced cancer and use novel approaches to minimise the magnitude of surgery. Additionally, it will aim to maintain the patients ability to live as normal a life as possible.

Researchers at St Mark’s are endeavouring to continue along the trajectory of developing personalised medicine, in order to provide tailored cancer therapies. It is hoped that this will translate to responsiveness to treatment.