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First RCS Professorial Chair in Clinical Research appointed

16 Apr 2018

The Royal College of Surgeons and one of the country’s biggest health charities have appointed the first RCS Professorial Chair. Bowel Cancer UK and the University of Leeds have jointly appointed Professor David Jayne, Colorectal Surgeon, to hold the position of Bowel Cancer UK / RCS Colorectal Research Chair, for a period of four years.  

Professor Jayne is the first research Chair of a further six posts developed by the Royal College of Surgeons with charities and universities across England, as part of the RCS Surgical Trials Initiative. The Initiative is in its sixth year and is developing these posts to drive growth in surgical clinical research, both nationally and globally. Since the conception of the Initiative, the Surgical Trials Centres have significantly increased the number of clinical trials in surgery, across all specialties. There are currently 66 open surgical clinical trials in the RCS portfolio and the development of these senior posts will help grow the number of high quality trials across the country. The Chairs will be Co-Directors of existing RCS Surgical Trials Centres, and drive the development and delivery of complex surgical clinical trials and encouraging trainee engagement in clinical research. 

Professor Derek Alderson, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said:

“Professor Jayne’s appointment as the first RCS Professorial Chair is an exciting development in the advancement and delivery of high quality surgical clinical research in colorectal cancer. There are over 100 new cases of bowel cancer in the UK every day and clinical trials are fundamental to patients receiving high quality treatment, as they provide the best opportunity for making improvements in bowel cancer care.

“Through these trials, surgeons will learn more about the safety and effectiveness of new bowel cancer surgery techniques and how best to select patients for these treatments. Our ultimate ambition is to help patients with bowel cancer to access the best and most innovative surgical techniques, and perioperative care, to improve their outcomes.” 

Cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer in the UK and the second biggest cause of cancer-related deaths, but the disease is often preventable or treatable if diagnosed early. The aim of the research is to discover new, effective and personalised surgical treatments for patients, recruit more patients into surgical clinical trials and increase the number of trials available.

Currently over 40,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in the UK, 16,000 of whom die. If diagnosed early the disease is usually treatable, and nine out of ten patients diagnosed with stage 1 bowel cancer live for at least five years. Patients diagnosed at a later stage have a poorer prognosis, and the RCS is urging people age 60-74 to take advantage of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme and have screening every two years.

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