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.

Our Complex Cancer Clinic is rapidly becoming one of the busiest and fastest expanding services. The service is truly multidisciplinary and its delivery is entirely unique with all disciplines being present from the first consultation and there throughout the patient’s journey.

There are a number of challenges relating to advanced cancer:

  • Each year over 40,000 new cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed in the UK
  • Each year 16,000 people die from their disease; most having been diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer
  • Despite many advances complex treatments are still necessary for those diagnosed with advanced cancer and for patients in whom disease recurs. Often, such patients are offered little else but nihilism
  • We need to know what treatments work best for an individual patient and deliver effective, precise and personalised treatment

In order to deliver new treatments to combat these challenges, we need sophisticated new approaches, based on a more detailed understanding of the behaviour of each cancer. We need to investigate the use of new drugs, different approaches to surgery and novel forms of intraoperative radiotherapy that are more effective, as well as less toxic. Developments will include HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy), mobile intraoperative radiotherapy, contact radiotherapy, re-irradiation protocols, minimally invasive / robotic surgery and novel ablative therapies to advanced and recurrent bowel cancer. We 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, whilst maintaining a patient’s ability to function as normally as possible.

We aim to develop bespoke multi modality treatment algorithms tailored by a patient’s cancer genetic profile and other factors.