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Breaking down bowel cancer

In a ground breaking decision leading experts recently agreed that bowel cancer should now be considered as four entirely distinct diseases.

But what does this mean for patients? In our latest blog post we talk to Worldwide Cancer Research funded scientist and clinician Dr Louis Vermeulen, who was one of the experts involved in this key piece of work.

“Until now we have been largely diagnosing and treating bowel cancer as one disease, but this classification really helps show that this is not the case.” Says Dr Vermeulen. “With this new clearer picture of bowel cancer I hope it will become easier to generate new treatments. If an experimental treatment only works in some patients there is now a clear basis for why this is likely to be the case, and the researchers shouldn’t consider it a failure.” “Ultimately I expect it will really help us and other scientists develop new therapies which can effectively treat all bowel cancer subtypes, even the types which are most aggressive and resistant to our current therapies. This will take time but the recognition of the various distinct diseases is a real breakthrough.”

“The funding from Worldwide Cancer Research really helped ensure we were able to take part and contribute meaningfully to this important decision.” Dr Louis Vermeulen is a lab leader at the Academisch Medisch Centrum in the Netherlands. You can read our interview with Dr Vermeulen in full on our blog.

Read about his latest project with Worldwide Cancer Research here.

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