Bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is Australia’s second deadliest cancer, affecting 1 in 13 Australians. In 2020, 15,494 Australians were diagnosed with bowel cancer and that number rises each year. 

Bowel cancer can affect any part of the colon or rectum. Depending on where the cancer is, it can also be called colorectal cancer, colon cancer or rectal cancer.  

Who is at risk of bowel cancer?

Causes and prevention of bowel cancer

Diagnosis and Treatment of bowel cancer

Our bowel cancer research

There are very few treatment options for late stage bowel cancer. For metastatic bowel cancer the survival rate is 13.4 per cent.

Our researchers are tackling bowel cancer from all angles – understanding the biological mechanisms that drive the disease, finding ways to prevent bowel cancer and new treatments. The projects underway are outlined below.

VIEW VIDEO | A/Prof Ron Firestein – Developing targeted therapy for bowel cancer (9NEWS) 2021

Next generation therapies for bowel cancer

A/Prof Ron Firestein, Centre Head, Centre for Cancer Research at Hudson InstituteDrug testing. Cutting-edge genetic tools and technologies are being used to investigate thousands of genes and drugs in patient samples and models of bowel cancer. Prof Firestein has identified lead targets and molecules that hone in on a specialised kinase called CDK8, which is present in bowel cancer development. This project involves conducting preclinical studies on CDK8 inhibitors, with the aim of testing these drugs in a clinical trial within the next two years.

Lead Researcher | Professor Ron Firestein

Targeting RNA to improve bowel cancer outcomes

Targeting the tumour microenvironment to enhance immunotherapy for bowel cancer

Bowel cancer collaborators

  • Monash University
  • Australian National University
  • Lerner Research Institute Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • Catherics Pty Ltd

Support for people with bowel cancer

Hudson Institute scientists cannot provide medical advice.
Find out more about bowel cancer.

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