COLO-SPEED research is important because it aims to develop a practical application to save lives by stopping people dying from bowel cancer. Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer and the second most common cancer death in the UK. Over 40,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK each year and 16,000 people die from the disease (44 every day). Survival rates for those who are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK are lower than in many other developed countries, in part due to the fact that the cancer is more often diagnosed at a later stage here when treatment options are more limited.
Most bowel cancer research focuses on treatment of more advanced bowel cancer. COLO-SPEED aims to focus research on improving how we identify and diagnose patients most at risk of developing bowel cancer, and shift the balance towards prevention and earlier diagnosis to prevent unnecessary bowel cancer and death. This is what COLO-SPEED research seeks to do.
Health research is undertaken to learn more about human health and wellbeing. It includes improving our understanding about diseases, so that better ways to treat and prevent disease can be developed. Ultimately, health research aims to improve the care patients receive.
A research study is the process of collecting and analysing information to answer a specific question and add to existing knowledge. Clinical research studies involve using information gathered from patients.
Research studies are essential in discovering new tests and treatments, helping us understand which treatments are most effective for patients and in making sure that we use existing treatments in the best possible ways. Your participation in a research study may help people who may be suffering from the same disease or condition to receive better treatment in the future.
All health research studies are strictly regulated to try to make them ethical and safe. There is a rigorous approval process for any research study prior to its commencement which includes approval by:
- Independent scientific review (of the protocol)
- Health Research Authority
- Research Ethics Committee
Additionally all members of staff involved in research have received mandatory training such as the Good Clinical Practice (GCP) course to ensure that research is conducted to a set standard which is safe and ethical. Additionally each research study is monitored and regulated by study teams, monitoring all study activity including any adverse events that may occur.
Patients and public have helped shape COLO-SPEED and will continue to be at the heart of the programme. Patients and public will also be involved in: prioritising research studies that will get access to COLO-SPEED; advising how studies can best take the patient perspective into account; identifying the research questions patients and public want to see answered; and spreading the message of research findings.
Patients attending endoscopy will be invited to: participate in colorectal research, either by directly entering a specific research study and/or consenting to be contacted in the future about suitable research studies. This unique resource will enable efficient delivery of cutting-edge research.
If you are interesting in participating in any of our studies, please sign up and register your interest
Recruitment to an individual study happens with the research team at your local hospital. You will be given a patient information sheet which provides further details on the study such as information or any samples required for the study. You will then be given time to read through this and to decide if you want to participate in this study. Once you have decided to go ahead and participate in a study, the research team will go through the study and answer any further questions you have about the study. You will be asked to sign a consent form stating that you have understood the information and are freely choosing to take part in the study.
Since each study is unique, the possible advantages and disadvantages differ between studies. The research team will discuss any important study-specific information with you during the recruitment process.
Researchers are legally obligated to ensure participants are well-informed about the study before they agree to take part. All participants should receive a patient information sheet that explains the objectives of the research, possible risks and benefits they may experience, as well as contact details for a research team member for any future queries. Participants will be asked to sign a consent form once they have fully understood the information in the patient information sheet and if they have decided to take part in the research study. You can change your mind and choose to withdraw from a research study at any time. Withdrawing from a research study will not affect the standard of care you receive. This is something you would need to address with your local research team.