* Colorectal Cancer - Latest News, Latest Research | CANCERactive

* Colorectal Cancer - Latest News, Latest Research | CANCERactive


Increase your personal odds of survival by empowering yourself with the latest news and research on Colorectal Cancer; 'news you can use today' and incorporate into your integrative cancer treatment programme.

It's great to have all the information in one place Chris especially when I can get on and use some of it today. Thanks. That really is self empowerment!!!" Paul R; Oxford UK

CONTENTS - for colorectal cancer, bowel cancer, rectal cancer, colon cancer

Just click on the title below to read the article. 

Go to: ’Colorectal cancer overview - symptoms, causes and treatment alternatives

2023 Research

2022 Research

2021 Research

2020 Research

2019 Research

Go to: All cancer begins in the gut

2018 Research

2017 Research

2016 Research

2015 Research

2014 Research

Research prior to 2014

        June 2010 Research

2009 Research

        August 2009 Research

        July 2009 Research

           March 2009 Research

          January 2009 Research

2008 Research

         September 2008 Research

         August 2008 Research

         May 2008 Research

2007 Research

2006 Research

2005 Research

2004 Research

2003 Research

Trans-fats linked to increased colorectal cancer

In a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology a higher consumption of trans- fatty acids can increase a person’s risk of pre-cancerous colorectal abnormalities such as polyps by 86 per cent.

It used to be thought that trans-fats (the product of the hydrogenation of  vegetable oils with the result that they are more stable on a supermarket shelf, but have virtually nothing of the original vegetable remaining in them) were simply inert good for nothing but harmless. That has since been refuted by several studies showing their dangers. Leading food health expert Walter Willett of Harvard Medical School has called trans fats the "worst single specific problem" facing health in the United States today. As a result packaging in the USA has to show trans-fat levels. MacDonald’s has been fined for failing to cease usage. We have covered the concerns before in icon. Cities such as New York and Philadelphia have banned their use in restaurants, and other major cities are due to follow. A ban on the use of trans-fats by all food outlets starts in California in 2010. Meanwhile the only thing inert about trans-fats is the British Government, who seem to say nothing.

In 2001 and 2002, researchers from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill interviewed 622 people about their diet, lifestyle and demographic information and then gave them a full colonoscopy. The participants with the highest intake of trans-fats were 86 per cent more likely to have colorectal abnormalities than the lowest consumption group.

Trans-fats raise are also known to raise blood levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol while lowering levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol.

’Vitamin D improves colon cancer survival’ study

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, has produced a study (Journal of Clinical Oncology - June 20, 2008 showing that high blood levels of vitamin D increased survival rate in colon cancer patients by 48 percent.

In the study, Dr. Kimmie Ng and her team collected data on 304 patients who had been diagnosed with colon cancer between 1991 and 2002. Everyone in the study had their vitamin D blood levels measured a minimum two years before being diagnosed. Dr. Ng and her team found that the patients with highest vitamin D levels were 39 percent less likely to die from colorectal cancer, compared to the patients who had the lowest levels.

Crucial role of fibre and beneficial bacteria in cancer fight shown

Scientists at the American Medical College of Georgia (MCG) have discovered how fibre works in the fight against cancer: It works with beneficial bacteria in the colon to activate a receptor in the body that can kill cancer. The beneficial bacteria produce butyrate from the fibre and this activates a receptor (GPR109A), which in turn has two effects: Firstly, it blocks the CoX-2 protein that causes inflammation; and secondly it sends signals out to cancer cells telling them to self-destruct. 
"We know the receptor is silenced in cancer but it’s not like the gene goes away," Dr. Vadivel Ganapathy, corresponding author and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the MCG School of Medicine, said in a statement to media. Cancer shuts down the gene by a process called DNA methylation.

"Colon cancer does not want butyrate produced by bacteria to come inside so it silences the transporter. It also does not want butyrate to act on the cell from the outside so it silences the receptor," Dr. Ganapathy explained in the media statement. "It does not want to have anything to do with butyrate. We think receptor activation by butyrate suppresses inflammation, thereby suppressing progression of inflamed cells into cancer cells."

(Ed: Naturally, the scientists have concluded that patients may benefit by taking high doses of butyrate - It tastes terrible. An alternative according to Dr. Ganapathy is to take large amounts of niacin, a B vitamin, which could have the same effect.
The only problem facing cancer patients is that the whole concept of high fibre helping to beat cancer is flawed if you have an important ingredient missing the beneficial bacteria. And from the moment you take your first drug, you start to destroy these important helpers

NICE approves use of cetuximab for UK bowel cancer patients

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has today published a Final Appraisal Determination (FAD) recommending the use of the drug cetuximab (Erbitux) in combination with chemotherapy as a 1st-line treatment for patients with metastatic (advanced) colorectal cancer .

The treatment is recommended for patients in whom the cancer has spread only to the liver and who have ’wild-type’ (unmutated) KRAS tumours. Up to 65% of patients have wild-type KRAS tumours.3

In June 2008, NICE issued a recommendation for cetuximab use in the treatment of locally advanced squamous cell cancer of the head and neck. Bowel cancer (Colorectal cancer) is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, after lung, breast and skin cancers, with more than 36,000 people diagnosed each year.

Cancer Prevention half can be avoided

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, if Governments just promoted healthy foods and exercise just over one third of cancers would be prevented (http://www.wcrf-uk.org).

The research presented showed that exercise and healthy food can prevent 36 per cent of lung cancers, 39 per cent of breast and pancreatic cancers, over 60 per cent of mouth cancers, 25 per cent of kidney cancers and 45 per cent of colorectal cancers.

Of course, if you take icon regularly, you could prevent even more. We have told you how avoiding EMF’s, mammograms, dairy, chemical hormones, pesticides, certain chemicals in the home and toiletries and personal care products, taking melatonin, selenium, fish oils and vitamin D can all add to this prevention figure further. Oh and there’s a lot more easy to do things too. In every issue.

Now, vitamin D’s action against cancer becomes clearer

Research published in the Journal of Cell Biology November 17, 2008; 183(4):697-710 studies the way vitamin D’s genome and non-genome effects use one simultaneous pathway and integrate to regulate cell physiology.

The research used colon cancer cells, and showed that vitamin D can adjust almost everything in the cell from its genetic messaging to its cytoskeleton. It can switch genes on and off, and it can reduce cell division, and it can ’calm’ the colon cells so that they settle rather than spread. One pathway seems to control everything.
Stage III Clinical Trial results on a concentrated form of vitamin D are due shortly.

A second study - a meta-analysis of 18 randomised controlled trials in Alternative Medicine Review, March 2008 - has found that vitamin D supplementation significantly reduces mortality from all causes.

Vitamin D’s final metabolic products target more than 200 human genes in a wide variety of tissues. One concern is that vitamin D deficiency is on the increase as people work indoors and misguided advice warns people to stay out of the sun.
The report recommends treating patients with vitamin D supplements, especially those patients with cancers. If you are not getting your daily dose of sunshine, you should seriously think about vitamin D3 supplementation. We have a lot of up-to-date research information on this web site.

Colon cancer possible role of stem cells

In December Nature scientists in Scotland and Cardiff, working with researchers in the Netherlands now believe that stem cells are at the root of bowel cancer.
Dr Owen Sansom from the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research and his colleagues carried out a neat experiment to show that bowel stem cells could ’go rogue’ and fuel cancers.

As with stomach cancer, due to everyday wear and tear, the cells that line our bowels are constantly being replaced.  New cells are produced from stem cells deep within cavities (crypts) in the bowel wall, in a complex biological ’production line’.  This process is tightly controlled too few new cells would lead to the bowel lining breaking down.  But over-production of cells can lead to cancer.

In their experiments, Sansom and his team used genetic engineering techniques to ’knock out’ the activity of a crucial gene called APC in healthy bowel stem cells in the small bowel of mice. They discovered that tumours developed within a few days, which aggressively spread within a few weeks.
Next, the scientists knocked out APC in normal bowel lining cells, and found that tumours also developed, but much less readily or frequently than those from the stem cells.

The results suggest that the stem cells are much more likely to give rise to cancer that the lining cells.  The scientists also found that the stem cell-derived cancers produced ’bulk’ cancer cells similar to bowel lining cells, supporting ’the classic cancer stem cell’ concept according to Cancer Research UK.
Regular readers may remember that we carried American research from Wang et al concluding that stem cells were at the root of stomach cancer, and that ’the theory books would all have to be torn up’ with his discovery back in November 2004. He called it ’revolutionary thinking’. Perhaps CRUK are referring to Dr William Beard who came up with the stem cell theory of cancer in 1906. He said then that stem cells under the influence of oestrogen did not behave normally and could divide rapidly as cancers. He also said that pancreatic enzymes could stop this action. I wonder if CRUK scientists are working on this aspect of ’the classic cancer stem cell concept’.

Oestrogen could also cause cancer through genetic mutations.

Research studies in the USA and the UK, all covered previously in icon, have shown that taking the pill or the oestrogen only form of HRT can increase risks of breast cancer by about 26 per cent. Taking mixed synthetic oestrogen and progesten HRT can double the risk of breast cancer. Taking HRT over a number of years also increases risks of other cancers like colon cancer.

Oestrogen has long been known to ’fuel the fire’ of cancer and synthetic oestrogen may even be worse. Now researchers for Cancer Research UK based at Clare Hall, Hertfordshire have shown that oestrogen triggers the production of an enzyme called AID. At low levels this actually helps immune systems adapt to fight off infections. However at higher levels these adaptations become mutations in the DNA. This is not the first time oestrogen has been shown to trigger cancer causing genetic changes. (Journal of Experimental Medicine; Jan 2009)

Dr Leslie Walker of CRUK said that, ’ This link is particularly pertinent to women receiving increased amounts of oestrogen for prolonged periods, during HRT for instance.’
In recent years, a number of chemicals that, once in the body, can mimic the action of oestrogen have been shown to cause genetic damage.

(Ed: Readers should be clear that many cancers have been linked to oestrogen, not just the obvious female ones like breast and endometrial cancer. Some cancers like prostate, testicular, colon, brain tumours and even some lung cancers have been linked in research to higher levels of the human, or synthetic hormone, or its chemical mimics. It is quite remarkable that the EU looks at bans and ’dose restrictions’ on natural vitamins when the synthetic ones might be linked to a 10 per cent increase in cancer risk, yet does absolutely nothing when month in month out yet more research is produced on the clear links between HRT and cancer. Shouldn’t Cancer research UK be calling for a ban on this dangerous synthetic supplement if their spokesperson is so concerned? It beggars belief, frankly.)

How accurate are colonoscopies really?

A Canadian report from the University of Toronto and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in December 2008, is causing serious concerns, after it concluded that colonoscopies missed just about every cancer starting in the right side of the colon and about one third of cancers starting in the left side. ’This is a really dramatic result. It makes you step back and worry; what do we really know?’ said David Ransohoff, a gastroenterologist at the University of North Carolina, and reported in The New York Times. The lead Toronto researcher, Nancy Baxter, described the results as ’a shock’ and even asked the team to rerun the tests! 

This study follows a previous one in Spring 2008 where colonoscopies were found to miss a flat lesion or inverted polyp that develops against the colon wall.

The theory goes that people over 50 can have a colonoscopy every two years to spot pre-cancerous polyps. Remove these and the threat of a cancer diminishes greatly.

’We have to not overpromise’, added Ransohoff who wrote the accompanying editorial to the paper. ’Colonoscopy is a good test, but it isn’t completely protective’.

A less accurate, but less onerous blood stool test is another possibility.

New test to replace or enhance ’almost worthless’ PSA screening test?

An international collaboration between researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research and Sloan-Kettering, New York could pave the way for a test to be used to better tailor treatments and hopefully extend the survival of men with aggressive forms of metastatic prostate cancer. In a major study (Cancer Clinical Research - available online Oct 1) involving 231 patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment and sixty-five clinical centres in Europe and the U.S. analysis of Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) were found to be more effecting as a prognosis of prostate cancer and an independent indicator for overall survival of the disease.

Lead researcher Dr Johann de Bono at The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden Hospital says: "CTC testing, used in conjunction with the existing prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, may allow doctors to more accurately evaluate the effect of treatment on a patient’s tumour."

The PSA test has been widely adopted as the benchmark test for prostate cancer in the UK, but it is not always possible to identify a clear relationship between a raised PSA level and the status of the disease. In the USA some experts are even more cautious. Indeed, the PSA test has been increasingly criticised in the USA as little more than indicative of an enlarged prostate, with at least one US Professor stating that it was ’almost worthless’ as a prostate cancer indicator. A new US study (led by Dr. Eric Singer, chief of urology at the University of Rochester) of 1300 men showed that readings fluctuated wildly if men had been using even the mildest (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as aspirin. Worse, another US study (Associated US Press) showed that where a high PSA reading had been used to send the patient for a needle biopsy (known to be capable of even spreading a cancer), the majority of biopsies proved negative.

Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) are cancer cells that have broken away from an existing tumour and have entered into the bloodstream. The presence of these cells in the blood provides valuable insights into disease progression.

The test has been cleared by the FDA in the United States to determine the prognosis of patients with metastatic breast, colorectal or prostate cancer. It has already been incorporated into several prostate cancer drug trials that are taking place at The Institute and The Royal Marsden.

Colon cancer linked to trans fats and poor foods

Researchers from the University of North Carolina have discovered that a diet of fast and processed foods can be a major cause of colon cancer. These foods are high in trans-fatty acids, and there seems to be a direct link between them and developing colon cancer.

People who eat 6.5 grams or more of trans fats every day, are 86 per cent more likely to have pre-cancerous colon polyps than those who eat just 3.63 g of the fats. Trans fats originally were thought to be inert but are now known to be harmful. They are found in junk food, crisps, many fast food products, certain packaged foods and even some ’health bars,
Researchers made the discovery when they carried out colonoscopies on 622 volunteers, who were then interviewed about their diets. (Source: American Journal of Epidemiology, 2008; 168: 289-97).

Colorectal; Head and neck cancers backlash on new drug

Only a couple of months ago we were receiving Press releases about the new wonder drug, Erbitux from Merck. Erbitux (cetuximab) is a monoclonal antibody that targets and inhibits Epidermal Growth Factor receptor (EGFr). EGFr is over-expressed in more than 35% of all solid malignant tumours and the drug targets this. Currently used with colorectal cancer, there are plans to use it with head and neck cancer patients.

However, as we have reported before, journals such as the Lancet Oncology have already expressed concerns that these new targeted and therefore reduced side-effect monoclonal drugs were anything but. Now in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing patients participating in a study experienced many different forms of extremely high skin toxicity including severe acne, puss filled blisters, and severe rashes. Outbreaks worsened with each further dose. The report shows pictures of the bad side effects. The study concluded that approximately 90% of all patients receiving this antibody drug will experience side effects with varying severity. Depression and negative effects on the heart along with pulmonary toxicity were also noted.

(Seminars in oncology nursing: ((http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve.) Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing

US Cancer Research Study on Prevention

A new report released by the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) at its annual meeting in November 2007 provides health guidelines on cancer prevention.

Based on the analysis of more than 7,000 scientific studies by 21 international experts over more than five years, the document suggests that 3 areas are important:

  • Choose healthy foods
  • Be physically active every day for at least 30 minutes
  • Maintain a healthy weight throughout life

Under the healthy foods heading, researchers found that people should eat more plant foods (especially antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits; pulses; and whole grains) and less red meat and especially less processed meats.

Red meat should be treated like more of a small side dish. According to the AICR report, people should closely limit red meat (beef, pork and lamb) to 18 ounces or less each week. Alternatives include fish and poultry.

We talk to our patients about their red meat consumption, said  Sally Scroggs, manager of health education in the Cancer Prevention Center, and we tell them there is new, more-substantiated evidence that limiting red meat helps prevent several types of cancer, especially colorectal cancer.

Scroggs is quick to point out to patients, however, that the guidelines do not prohibit meat. Meat can be a valuable source of essential nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12.

It all boils down to portion size, which is something people need to be more conscious of in their diets. A piece of meat, say 3 ounces or so (the size of a deck of cards), is OK several times a week.

However, the report cautions people to avoid all processed meats, including hot dogs, lunch meats and ham.

Researchers used to think the saturated fat in meat increased the chance of cancer, but current research points to a number of other reasons. Studies have shown, for instance, that red meat consumption increases the production of carcinogens in the colon. Cooking at high temperatures also produces additional carcinogens.

Processed meats, which are preserved by salting, smoking, curing or treating with chemicals, have been found to increase cancer risk. Researchers are studying exactly what causes this to happen.

The same cancer-causing factors in red meat may be responsible, or it may have to do with the chemicals that are used for processing. Researchers do know that carcinogens, specifically N-nitroso compounds, are produced when meat is processed and dyed.

Colorectal cancers increased in coronary disease patients

JAMA 2007, 298; 1412-19 features a report from Hong Kong based on 414 patients who had previously undergone coronary angiography for suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). Those with CAD had a 34 per cent prevalence of colorectal adenomas compared with 19 per cent for the non-CAD group.

Environmental factors triggering inflammation were felt to be behind both diseases.

Cancer risk with Dairy Again

icon has covered research before on links to ovarian, breast and prostate cancers. Now research from New York, where 5,000 people were followed for 65 years suggests that those children who grew up in families with the highest Dairy consumption (nearly two cups per day each) had close to three times the risk of colorectal cancer later in life. The study led by Dr Jolieke vander Pols of Queensland, looked at children from England and Scotland.

Colon Cancer risk decreased by Aspirin

If you wonder where all the cancer research money goes here’s another example. 25 years after John Vane won his knighthood for showing that aspirin could reduce localised inflammatory hormones, prompting a plethora of studies with aspirin, scientists are still reinventing the wheel.

A study by Professor Peter Rothwell in Oxford University’s Dept of Clinical Neurology has shown that taking 300 mgs of aspirin a day reduces colon cancer risk by 37 per cent overall and 74
per cent during the period 10-15 years after treatment started. Alternatively you could already know this because you read icon. (Oxford Today)

Suicide Gene Therapy Kills Bowel Cancer Cells

An innovative type of gene therapy has for the first time succeeded in making bowel cancer cells commit suicide, according to a report in Cancer Research (May 2007).

The therapy, developed by Cancer Research UK-funded scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, combines cutting-edge techniques to target tumour cells. Known as GDEPT (Gene-Directed Enzyme Prodrug Therapy), the treatment uses a virus to attack cancer cells.

But the researchers have added an extra gene to the virus. The virus is programmed to switch on the gene only if it reaches a tumour. When the gene is switched on, the virus produces a protein that activates an otherwise harmless ’prodrug’, given separately.

Because this drug is only activated in tumours, it selectively kills only cancer cells. In normal tissue, the drug remains inactive, so healthy cells are not affected.

This is the first time such a therapy has proved successful at killing bowel cancer cells, albeit only in the laboratory. Cancer Research UK and The Institute of Cancer Research are supporting the development of the therapy and hope to take it into early clinical trials in the future.

Lead researcher, Professor Caroline Springer of The Institute’s Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics, said: We have developed a smart method to selectively target cancer cells. Normal cells are spared because the virus doesn’t produce the protein that activates the drug unless it is inside a tumour.

The beauty of our approach is that the cancer cells are made to commit suicide both by the virus and the activated drug the two work in tandem. And once activated, the drug has the added bonus of causing the virus to produce more of the activating protein, which activates more of the drug, and so on. It’s the first time we’ve seen a ’positive feedback loop’ like this in a GDEPT therapy.

The drug damages DNA inside the cancer cells to the point where the cells stop functioning. They have no choice but to shut down and die. Another benefit of the therapy is that it doesn’t just kill only the cancer cells infected by the virus.

We also see a significant ’bystander effect’, added Prof Springer. This means the cells killed by the virus or the drug release signals into the tumour that tell neighbouring cancer cells to die too.

Colorectal cancer patients benefit from Bevacizumab

From the Gastro-intestinal Cancer symposium in Orlando (Jan 19 21st 2007) comes the finding that patients with metastatic CRC, benefit by about two months extra cancer free time if they take Bevacizumab.

Omega-3 yet again shown to help in colon cancer

New research in the American Journal of Epidemology shows yet again that eating a lot of Omega-3 rich foods protects against colon cancer. Dr Evropi Theodoratu of Edinburgh University said there was clear evidence for the benefits of Omega-3 but none for Omega-6, which may even increase risk. (Ed: We have repeatedly told readers this over the last 5 years. The original studies won John Vane a Nobel Prize in 1982 Salicylin (aspirin), long-chain Omega-3 (fish oils), garlic and ginger will all reduce the levels of inflammatory negative eicosanoids and contain the growth of polyps and the formation of a carcinogenic bile acid. If only Doctors would start telling their patients what research seems to show year in year out. How many more studies do we need?)

Blueberries may reduce colon cancer risk

A natural compound, pterostilbene, found in blueberries may be good for preventing bowel cancer, say researchers from Rutgers University and the US Department of Agriculture. Their presentation to the American Chemical Society said that the compound was a powerful antioxidant and seems to mop up highly reactive molecules (free radicals) that can trigger cancer growth in rats that were developing polyps and pre-cancer cells. Pterostilbene is also found in cranberries, sparkleberries, lingonberries, grapes and red wine.
Other work, also in mice, suggests pterostilbene may be good for lowering blood cholesterol too.

Colon Cancer Alerts

The University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter website:
http://www.WellnessLetter.com is available to anyone who wants to subscribe for free. This month they have features on Resveratrol, artichokes, thermography instead of mammograms and too much salt. Their sister journal from Johns Hopkins features colon cancer and will send you regular alerts. http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com

UCLA now has over 100 reviews of supplements and their benefits and, this January, featured DNA/RNA supplements.  They have also just launched a new book entitled ’Wellness Foods A-Z’.  Perhaps all doctors and oncologists reading this should subscribe on line to see the latest how blinkered the UK medical world is becoming?

Two more studies on importance of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention

Two new studies have, yet again, confirmed the importance of vitamin D - this time specifically with breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

Moores Cancer Center at UCSD, San Diego, pulled together a number of studies and cross-related them to show that up to half of the cases of breast cancer, and two thirds of the cases of colorectal cancer in the USA could possibly be prevented.

The breast cancer study (Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) posted dose-response data from two earlier studies and showed that women with the higher blood levels had the lowest risk of breast cancer.  A 50 per cent reduction risk could be maintained by taking 2,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 daily, plus spending 10-15 minutes per day in the sun, said Dr Cedric Garland.

The colorectal study (American Journal of Preventive Medicine Feb 6th 2007) cross-related 5 studies over a 25-year period.  Dr Edward Gorham said From this research we project that the same combination of supplement levels and sunshine would reduce colorectal incidence by two thirds.

(Ed:  To repeat our view.  Safe sun moderate sun for 30 minutes on a clear day is the best way to deliver vitamin D levels in the body.  It is photosynthesised from the cholesterol layers under your skin.  A long, long way behind, in terms of delivery, comes eating oily fish.  And a long, long way behind that comes eating some grains and dairy.  Supplementation by D3 is the only real alternative to sunshine).

Housework reduces bowel cancer!

CRUK have shown that exercise they cite the gym, walking briskly, or even cleaning the kitchen floor and vacuuming is a factor in reducing colon cancer.  413,000 people from 10 European countries were studied and the physically active were 22% less likely to develop colon cancer 1 hour a day was recommended.  (Ed: Be careful.  People who go to the gym probably smoke less and eat more healthily too!)

Aspirin therapy - it’s in the genes

The confusion caused by the apparent inconsistency of aspirin to protect against colorectal cancer may well be down to genetics.  (J. Nat Cancer Inst.2006; 98; 1494-1500).  Andrew Chan of Harvard Medical School believes that Aspirin may have a role to play in all cancers, depending upon the genetic subset of the population to which you belong.  (Ed:  All in all, this means it may help prevent or control.  Or it may not! ).

Oxaliplatin causes liver damage in some CRC patients

However at the same Symposium, oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy was said to cause liver damage to CRC patients who already had liver metastases. (FOLFOX-4 Chemotherapy). Catherin Julie (Paris) presented a paper showing a rise from 11 per cent to 41 per cent in liver damage where the drug was taken post surgery.

Drug to reduce polyps and prevent CRC

Scientists from Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute have found that a new drug, called AZD2171, can reduce the number and size of pre-cancerous growths, or polyps, in the bowels of mice. These can progress to bowel cancer if left untreated. (Goodlad et al. Carcinogenesis, October 2006; 27: 2133 2139)

The researchers gave the drug to mice genetically pre-disposed to developing pre-cancerous polyps in the bowel.  All of the mice were treated with the drug for a period of 28 days.  Half of the mice began receiving the drug at 6 weeks old, and the other half at 10 weeks to examine the effects of early or late treatment.

The drug AZD2171 interferes with a molecule called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which acts as the signal telling cells to grow new blood vessels. In order for polyps to grow and progress into cancer, they need to grow their own blood vessels a process called angiogenesis.  By disrupting the VEGF signalling, the drug can stop blood vessel formation and therefore restrict tumour growth.

Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers around 35,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with the disease each year.  Most bowel cancers develop from pre-cancerous polyps that grow on the bowel wall.  These polyps are fairly common and it is estimated that around 40 per cent of people over the age of 50 have them.  However, only between 5 and 10 per cent of these polyps will go on to develop into cancer. (Ed:  Aspirin, Ginger, Aloe Vera, Garlic, Fish oils/Omega 3 are amongst a number of natural compounds which also have been shown to ’restrict’ polyp growth)

Bowel cancer trial minimises recurrence

The Medical Research Council has conducted a trial using data from 1,350 patients around the world.

Traditionally, surgical removal of cancer found in the lower 15cms of the bowel (the rectum) has been the recommended treatment.

However, re-growth is possible and, where this happens, the majority of patients are incurable.

The MRC trial used either pre-operative or post-operative radiotherapy.

The pre-op group had only five per cent recurrence levels, and a 75 per cent 5-year survival.  The post-op group recorded figures of 17 per cent and 67 per cent respectively.

(Ed: There are a number of complementary therapies for example the use of certain supplements and probiotics that may provide additional benefits.  All have been covered in icon.)

Parasite Infection And Colon Cancer

Science (2005, 308) reports on the role played by parasites in the colon. Apparently increased colon cell turnover is used to displace the parasites, and this causes increased production of certain cytokines, interleukin and interferon, all of which was associated with higher levels of cancer.

(Ed: We have long suggested that readers should partake in an annual parasite purge. Tel: 01280 815166 for details).

Red Meat Increases Risk Of Colorectal Cancer...

A study involving 148,610 men and women in the USA aged 50-74 and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has confirmed that the group that ate the most red meat had a thirty to forty percent increased risk of cancer of the distal colon or rectal cancer, compared with the group whose consumption was lowest.

...BUT Magnesium-Rich Foods Reduce Risk

A study from the Karolinska Institute of Sweden involving 61,000 women has shown that the higher the magnesium consumption the less the risk of colorectal cancer. (Magnesium sources include whole grains, nuts, jacket potatoes, greens, pulses and some fish).

Cetuximab Tests for Bowel Cancer

With more than 16,000 people dying of bowel cancer in the UK each year, Professor Tim Maughan at Cardiff’s Velindre Hospitals is looking for 2,500 volunteers to take part in a trial on a new drug, Cetuximab. This seems to help existing chemotherapy agents work better.

White Bread Bad, Apples Good

French scientists at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research in Strasbourg reporting at the American Association for Cancer Research in Seattle have shown that procyanidins in apples help prevent changes that can lead to colon cancers. Apples also contain antioxidant polyphenols.

In another study at the same conference American researchers have shown that people who eat three or more servings of vegetables a day - not including potatoes - had a 40 per cent reduced risk of colon cancer.

Finally, in a third study, the incidence of eating white refined bread and colon cancer were found to be statistically linked.

New Bowel Cancer Test

Researchers at Giessen University in Germany have developed a test which monitors M2-PK enzyme levels.

This enzyme "leaks" from cancerous tissue into the bowel, and can be measured in the faeces.

Colon cancer link to white bread?

Scientists in Oxford who followed 11,000 men and women for 17 years have shown that those who ate more than 15 slices of white bread per week had twice the risk of colorectal cancer.

Whilst this may be in some way due to refined carbohydrate (Ed: malted brown bread could be just as damaging), the findings may occur because people who eat lots of white bread have poorer diets anyway.

The scientists also found that there was no link to meat consumption, even though vegetarians were less likely to develop the disease.

Pyruvate Kinase can indicate colorectal cancer

New research from Germany seems to confirm what our own Doctor Julian Kenyon has been saying for some time: namely, that Pyruvate Kinase levels may be a good indicator of cancer activity.

Researchers for Giessen University Hospital found that patients with bowel cancer had significantly higher levels and are suggesting it as a screening marker.

Vitamin pills do not stop cancer

The Lancet has covered a recent study by Dr Goran Bjelakovic in Copenhagen, Denmark. In this study 14 pieces of research were reviewed in conjunction with gastrointestinal cancers (including bowel, stomach and liver). Researchers looked at the antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and E and selenium.

No benefit for the vitamins was found, although there seemed merit in taking selenium.


Dr Richard Sullivan of Cancer Research cautioned people on the results because many people in the studies were smokers who have a higher risk of death from cancer anyway. (Bjelakovic had gone as far as saying that the combination of beta-carotene with vitamin A actually increased mortality by 30 per cent; and beta-carotene with vitamin E increased it by 10 per cent). (Ed: We side with Cancer Research UK on this one. Firstly, the research incorporated a disproportionate number of smokers and we know there is some negative effect of beta-carotene with smokers.

Secondly, the group finds no benefit in these antioxidants, although in our review of each of the separate vitamins we gave readers details of research studies showing benefits.

Thirdly, this research conflicts totally with the research in icon July/August 2004 from the USA where regular takers of multivitamins had a 35 per cent decrease in these types of cancer.

Probably the issue is "which vitamins?" Vitamin D, for example, is known to be beneficial for these cancers.

The Swedish group also recommended eating 5 lots of fruit and vegetables per day, yet nowhere in their research is that a conclusion. Worse, work in the Boston Nurses Study found the only vegetable of merit was garlic.

Medical professionals and patients should treat this study with extreme caution, especially as some of the press coverage has made rather inaccurate and sweeping statements.)

Diabetes and colorectal cancer

Abnormal glucose metabolism seems to be linked to colorectal cancer. Research from Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council studied 9600 participants. Factors associated with this could be lifestyle related (lowering sugar levels) or hormonal as well. However diabetics were found to have three times the cancer risk with men more prone.

Multivitamins and colon cancer

The American Cancer Society reported in 2003 on a study running between 1992 and 1997. Over 148,000 people were studied based on questionnaires. Those who had taken multivitamins during the 1980’s at least 4 or more times per week had a 30 per cent less risk of the cancer. Vitamin D (see Icon February 2004) supplementation is also a known factor In the reduction of colon cancer.


Pre-surgical treatment for colon cancer


Assistant Professor Crane of the MD Anderson Cancer Centre is publishing a study which shows that where chemotherapy and radiation are used on advanced rectal cancer before surgery, there is more chance of preserving the anal sphincter, thus limiting the need for colostomy bags and the like.

(International Journal of Radiation Oncology - September 2003).

Drop in deaths from most common cancers

The death toll from three of the UK’s most common cancers has dropped to its lowest level for almost 40 years, according to new figures released by CRUK..

Mortality rates for breast, bowel, and male lung cancer are at their lowest since 1971 even though more than 100,000 people are now diagnosed with these kinds of cancers every year.

Breast cancer deaths peaked in 1989 with 15,625 women dying from the disease. The latest figures for 2007 show that figure has dropped to 11,990 which is equivalent to a drop in mortality rates of 36 per cent.

Bowel cancer deaths peaked in 1992 with 19,598 men and women dying from the disease. In 2007 16,007 died - equivalent to a drop in mortality rates of 31 per cent.

And the number of men dying from lung cancer peaked in 1979 at 30,391 but dropped to 19,637 in 2007 a drop in mortality rates of 53 per cent.

According to the PR release, although more people are getting cancer because the population is living longer, Cancer Research UK believes that fewer are dying from the disease because new and better treatments and screening are making a real difference. And deaths from lung cancer have been falling as more people give up smoking. (Ed: So why are they getting lung cancer in the first place?)

CANCERactive adds that increased patient ’self-help’ and knowledge (for example the use of the Internet by over half of cancer patients currently) must also be a significant factor in these figures. How many less women have died because they gave up HRT?

There is also a much greater awareness and usage of complementary therapies and new alternatives to standard chemotherapy nowadays. There is also increased availability and usage of specialist complementary centres. And what of the nurses? They now perform a strong informative and supporting role to back up their improved standards of care. In Cancer Watch we have covered several studies showing that improved standards of palliative care resulted in greater survival time than taking certain drugs!

Frankly, at CANCERactive we tire of the complacent and positively inaccurate view that these improvements are all down to ’better drugs and more screening’. These PR releases simply ignore both the reality of the situation and the expertise and considerable input of nurses and complementary healthcare experts. Not to mention the patients’ own efforts and self-empowerment to beat their disease.

Bowel screening ’not acceptable’ to everyone

At least one person in ten, particularly those from South Asian backgrounds, has a negative attitude to bowel cancer screening, says research published in the British Journal of Cancer..

Researchers from the University of Birmingham told study participants about three bowel screening tests: faecal occult blood testing (FOBT), colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy. Participants were then asked: ’Screening using the above procedures can be used to look for evidence of early bowel cancer and conditions that may progress to bowel cancer in people who have symptoms. Do you think this is a good idea?’ Some 14 per cent of respondents replied either ’No’ or ’Not sure’. Twenty three per cent found the follow up colonoscopy test, either very unacceptable or unacceptable and 22 per cent held these views for flexible sigmoidoscopy,  another test to diagnose bowel cancer.

Men, older people and those with a South Asian ethnic background were most likely to have a negative attitude to being screened.

Insulin resistence/intolerance found to increase cancer risk

A while ago, at CANCERactive we told you all about Insulin Resistance. ’Do you have trouble losing weight?’ This is a common sign, as are low levels of HDL, high triglycerides, high blood glucose levels and more. And while you are not a true diabetic, the principles seem the same for an estimate of up to 70 per cent of the population, who (frankly) just eat badly. We have also given you a number of research studies showing glucose drives cancer.

Not surprisingly, insulin resistance is a step along the road to diabetes and heart disease. Now it has been shown to be a step along the road to cancer too.

New research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, concluded that ’there is a strong link between insulin resistance and the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer.’ Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York have concluded that the elevated insulin levels linked to insulin resistance result in post-menopausal women having a higher risk of breast cancer.

The researchers also found that elevated blood glucose and triglyceride levels raised the risk of breast cancer by 1.7 times. Increased diastolic blood pressure (the second number when you have your blood pressure measured ) raised the risk of breast cancer 2.4 times.

Two factors are important here:

  1. Although this research was conducted looking at breast cancer, you can bet this is true for many cancers, male and female.
  2. Yet again it highlights the point we consistently make about the daft sugar-laden diets given to cancer patients in UK Hospitals.

We have complained that the NHS booklet on ’a diet for chemotherapy’ shows little drawings of cheese burgers, milk shakes and sticky doughnuts on every page. My daughter was given ice cream and Ribena endlessly in her oncology unit.

Of course the good news for everyone preventers and people with cancer - is that insulin resistance and blood sugar levels are controllable and reverse-able. Just change your diet!!!

I will list here for everyone’s benefit some of the tips from my book ’The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer’:

  • Eat six small meals a day, not one or two big ones
  • Eat whole foods and whole grains (never refined, processed or fast foods)
  • Avoid alcohol, fizzy soft drinks, sweets, cakes, white bread, white pasta, biscuits, chocolate. Diet drinks are especially bad! As are smoothies and purchased fruit juices; even many so-called health drinks.
  • Eat raw most days, on an empty stomach if possible
  • Eat your fruit first thing in the morning on an empty stomach
  • Eat steamed or grilled never fried
  • Avoid Dairy (lactose is a sugar)
  • Take probiotics in several strains
  • Ensure you have no yeast excesses in your body (take cinnamon, oregano, Pau D’Arco and wormwood).
  • And eat fresh raw garlic.

Remember, research from North Western shows that if you lose excess weight you reduce risk and even improve survival times.

The book contains far more detailed advice.

Being overweight increases cancer risk fact

Cancer Research UK have just researched 4,000 people and come up with the staggering fact that 97 per cent of people have no idea that being overweight is a significant cancer risk. Of course, had they read our report on the research we conducted 4 years ago they would have known that people haven’t much a clue what does cause cancer anyway. Indeed we went into all the key issues in our 2004 Cancer Prevention Conference, which was poorly attended by the ’major’ charities.

As we have been telling people for seven years, it all depends which report you read, and how much overweight you are, but to be just 7 kgs overweight knocks over 5 years off your life expectancy, and a whopping 13 years if you smoke as well. .All this is well documented in my book, ’Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer’  indeed it has been there since the first edition some 7 years ago.

All this comes in parallel with new Swedish research showing overweight women tend to be diagnosed with higher grade cancers than ladies who have restrained their weight.

One of the real issues is that many overweight people are in denial. We have had ladies write to us with breast cancer and they are 13 kgs over normal weight for their height. One described herself as ’cuddly’, another as ’being a bit chunky’.

In our original 2004 prevention research, people stated that giving up smoking was important, as was avoiding excess alcohol, and staying out of the sun. As we pointed out at the time, ’Burning is bad, sunshine is sensible’. 4 years ago there was too much bad science coming from cancer charities suggesting sunshine was carcinogenic. In fact there is actually a great deal of research that suggests that a daily dose of sun shine promotes vitamin D synthesis in the body, and reduces cancer risk. A few people also knew that exercise was a risk reducer. But, in all, few people knew any information about preventing cancer (unlike Heart disease or AIDS) and blame for this lack of information can only be laid at the doors of the Government and the cancer charities. It was in response to this research finding that CANCERactive decided to adopt the Precautionary Principle (that where there is expert research expressing concern, we will pass on that research information so that the people of Britain can make more informed choices). As a result just compare the volume of Prevention Topics we cover against those listed on the major charities web sites. Pesticides? EMF’s? Melatonin? Toxic Chemicals, from dioxins to oestrogen mimics in plastic bottles and preservatives?

Anyone who is unsure of the factors that may increase cancer risk should go to the prevention part of our web site where they will find more information on more possible causes than on any other UK charity web site. As you will see, we have given some weight to the issue of cancer prevention!

Men more likely to get cancer the issue is why?

Men are almost 40 per cent more likely than women to die from cancer, reveals a report published by the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN).

And they are 16 per cent more likely to develop the disease in the first place.

After excluding breast cancer and cancers specific to one or other sex from the analysis, the difference is even greater with men being almost 70 per cent more likely to die from cancer and over 60 per cent more likely to develop the disease.

The researchers then looked at the figures, excluding lung cancer as well, because the disease and its main risk factor, smoking, is known to be more common in men.They expected to see that, across the broad range of remaining cancer types, men and women were just as likely as each other to die from and get the disease. But they found that for all of these cancers combined, men were still 70 per cent more likely than women to die from cancer and 60 per cent more likely to get cancer.

Experts suggest that a possible explanation for the differences seen for some types of cancer could be down to stereotypical male behaviour like down-playing important early symptoms and having an unhealthy lifestyle.

Even rogue cancer DNA repairs itself

CRUK scientists (Nature) have discovered a sensor which exists even in cancer cells. Some drugs try to damage cancer DNA. This sensor system is actually a family of proteins (alkyltransferase-like proteins or ATL’s) warns the cell and activates the DNA repair systems and so the drugs lose their effect.

Organic foods are better ignore the UK Food Standards Agency

All over the UK papers comes news of the ’ruling’ from the FSA that ’organic food is no more nutritious than other foods’. According to that well known medical journal, the Daily Mail, ’watchdogs’ have declared this to be true.

Claiming to be the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’ trawled through more than 50,000 studies on the value of foods since 1958.’ The results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Dr Alan Dangour (a public health nutritionist, no less) who was the lead researcher stated that, ’Currently there is no research to support the selection of organically produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority’.

Spokesperson Gill Fine from the FSA burbled on about, ’Ensuring people had accurate information’ and ’no evidence of additional health benefits from eating organic foods’.

What staggers us at CANCERactive is that in order to resolve this very same question the EU has just spent 12 million of tax payers’ money conducting as near as can be, the definitive Clinical Trial, growing fields of organic food in parallel with normal pesticide and fertiliser-grown crops and then employing top scientists to give us the results. The FSA, which is after all a Government funded unit, ought to know this and use the data. And be clear, Gill: The ’accurate information’ is that there is a considerable difference. And this is just from early assessments. The project will continue for a few more years yet, as that is how long it takes to be sure. Professor Carlo Leifert, one of the CANCERactive patrons, is a lead member of the team.We covered the early conclusions in this very magazine.

The Daily Mail falls into the usual ’bad science’ trap too, meandering on about 50 years of research and 50,000 studies. But, the researchers didn’t use 50,000 studies, they used, sorry selected, 55 that ’met their criteria’, whatever they were. So one concludes therefore they left out a mere 49,945 studies from their conclusions. Perhaps one was the definitive EU study?

Then there is Dr Alan ’no evidence to support nutritional superiority’ Dangour. I quote about 10 - 15 such studies in my book ’The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer’. Leifert and his team have a hundred more! What planet do these people live on? Al, old chap, there is rather a lot of scientific evidence actually; I cannot believe you think there is none..

But for the last word we will return to Gill ’no additional health benefit’ Fine. All I can conclude is that she finds pesticides tasty and of absolutely harmless. Of course that view would put her directly at odds with the EU, which recently concluded that there were ’deep concerns’ and cited health hazards including cancer as a need for more regulation. It is puzzling that Gill ’ensuring people have accurate information’ Fine does not seem to be telling you all about  research studies showing that farmers using pesticides develop more multiple myeloma, and another that this is due to the pesticide making pre-cancerous MGUS proteins in the blood, or (for example) that some third world suppliers to British retailers still use the banned pesticides of DDT and Lindane, each linked to higher rates of Breast Cancer. (If she is unsure, she could always trawl through back issues of Cancer Watch for more ’accurate information’.)

For the record, there is concern that organic foods grown on depleted soils offer little in additional mineral content over mass-farmed foods. How could they? On basic vitamins there is quite a lot of evidence that organic food is superior, but sometimes not by much. The real advantage seems to come in the area of complex natural compounds (like resveratrol, quercitin, omega 3 or polyphenols) where organic foods score much more highly. For example, the use of fungicide negates the need for grapes to produce fungus fighting resveratrol of their own several studies have measured this. And even 10 years ago researchers didn’t know too much about these compounds or their health benefits, and so did not research for them. How many such studies were in the ’selected’ group?

Personally I don’t think everybody should rush off and buy everything organic we have told you which foods research studies show are more likely to hold their pesticides, and which do not. So in a number of cases there is not a lot to worry about. But red fruits like strawberries and greens like broccoli do need extra caution before using the sprayed versions.

It is all very sad really. I think that the people, and especially the patients who want to beat cancer deserve better than this. But then, that’s why we set up CANCERactive.

Need to prevent thousands of older people dying from cancer, prematurely

As many as 15,000 people over 75 could be dying prematurely from cancer each year in the UK, according to research presented today at the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) conference.

These premature deaths could be prevented if cancer mortality rates in the UK dropped to match countries in Europe and America which have the lowest rates.

The researchers from the North West Cancer Intelligence Service (NWCIS) in Manchester compared cancer death rates in the UK with Europe and America.

They found that over the past decade the numbers of people dying from cancer in the under 75s has significantly dropped in the UK. But, little progress has been made in the over 75s and the gap in death rates with other countries is getting wider.

Dr Tony Moran, lead researcher from NWCIS, said It’s worrying that so many older people die from cancer in the UK compared with other countries. But, it’s not clear why this is. Research is urgently needed to understand the reasons for the extra deaths so that steps can be taken to prevent them.

New scientific study reveals flaws, even fraud, in Clinical Trials

Scientific study. Clinical Trial, Gold Standard. Non Sequetor. Well, at least according to Dr Daniele Fanelli at the University of Edinburgh. In a recent study Fanelli lists findings such as

Most clinical results are misleading


  • 5 per cent of scientists have admitted falsifying results
  • One third of scientists admitted observing such bad practice in others

Fanelli’s report states that the misconduct is more prevalent in clinical, medical, and pharmaceutical research. So much for the ’gold standard’; but then he goes on to refer to the high profits at stake where a few word changes can make all the difference, even if it’s not fraud but ’presentation’.

He also comments on studies that criticise vitamins suggesting that all too often, doses used are too low to have an effect, or the where vitamin tested is known not to have an effect on a particular disease whereas another, untested one, is.

All this coincides with a USA FDA report that reports deficiencies and flaws in up to 20 per cent of US drug clinical trials.

Vitamin A can reduce damaging effects of oestrogen

Known to drive many cancers from breast, to colon, to prostate and even some brain tumours, oestrogen causes its damage by binding to cellular receptor sites. Now scientists at the University of Chicago have shown that a metabolite of vitamin A (retinoic acid) can compete with and block this damaging action. Whereas oestrogen causes random and raid cell growth to occur, the retinoic acid was found to normalise proceedings. Professor Kevin White, director of the Institute for Genomics and System Biology at the University of Chicago and his team have even mapped the effects against areas of the genome affecting breast cancer, (published in Cell). In a follow up study the scientists discovered the more strongly a tumour responded to retinoic acid, the greater the chances of long-term survival and a lack of relapse.

Coenzyme Q10 linked to significant anti-cancer activity

Japanese researchers at the National Cancer Center Research Institute in Tokyo used a highly carcinogenic chemical, azoxymethane, to induce colon cancer in rats. In a controlled study lasting one month half the rats were given CoQ10, the other half nothing. One month later the supplemented group had only half the number of cancers.

The US National Cancer Institute has concluded that CoQ10 can help the body resist infections, including cancer. Furthermore it concludes that CoQ10 may well cause cancer cell death, and prevent cancer cells from growing.

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Colorectal cancer and a ’special’ omega-3 preparation

A team of researchers, led by Professor Mark Hull of the Leeds Institute of Moleculkar Medicine and funded by SLA Pharma AG, in collaboration with researchers at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, St Mark’s Hospital London, St George’s Hospital, London and Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna has reported that patients diagnosed with a rare inherited condition called FAP (familial adenomatous polyposis) can have their polyps reduced by a special preparation of omega-3.FAP is responsible for about one in every 100 bowel cancers.

Professor Hull and his team say that further research is needed to find out if this new agent, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) could help prevent the non-hereditary form of bowel cancer, which is the third most common cancer in the UK, diagnosed in around 37,000 people each year.  ’A safe and effective drug therapy may reduce the number of invasive check-up procedures, which can be unpleasant and always involve a small amount of risk’, said Hull. The particular preparation of EPA that we used delivers approximately four times as much beneficial polyunsaturated fatty acid per day as is derived from eating two to three portions of fish a week.  The drug is also designed to be released into the small intestine, minimising nausea and halitosis often associated with taking over-the-counter fish oil supplements said Professor Hull.

Chris Comment: Natural compounds to the rescue again. Please remember that concentrating it is one thing. It’s when drug companies start to make it synthetically the problems start.

Sigmoidoscopy reduces bowel cancer rates

Despite Government promises about two years ago to bring in colorectal screening annually for the over 50’s nothing much has happened to date. Now new research should cause some action. 
A five minute ’flexi-scope’ examination called sigmoidoscopy has been found in Clinical Trials to reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer by a third and deaths from the disease by 43 per cent.
The prevention technique looks for inflammation and the formation of polyps which can lead to a cancer. These can easily be removed if caught early.
The research involved 170,000 men over 11 years and was published in the Lancet.
The figures suggest that this test if performed annually, might prevent around 10,000 cases per year and 6,000 lives. Recent Canadian research on these tests and covered in Cancer Watch suggested however that they missed certain areas of the colon.
Currently testing focuses on the over 60’s and involves a stool test looking for signs of blood every two years. Cancer Research has dubbed sigmoidoscopy, a ’Breakthrough’.

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