charlie tootell colorectal cancer

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: How our research contributes

Colorectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum, when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Depending on where it starts, it can be classified as either colon or rectal cancer, although the two have many features in common.

The earlier colorectal cancer is detected, the more likely it is that it can be effectively treated.

In 1991, there was only one drug, 5fu, available for most GI cancers, including colorectal cancer and it left many unanswered questions. The work of the AGITG has contributed to the knowledge of more effective treatment options, which has improved the quality of life for those who are diagnosed.

Having more effective treatment options improves the opportunities for patients when dealing with cancer. Colorectal cancer survivor Charlie Tootell was just 37 when he was diagnosed, younger than most patients, and was only tested for cancer by chance, after mentioning his symptoms to his wife’s gynaecologist. He was diagnosed with bowel cancer and began treatment immediately – two years later, he was cancer free.

“You’ve got to know your own body, ask questions and take action,” Charlie says. The symptoms of colorectal cancer can be difficult to spot, and many patients are only diagnosed once their cancer is at an advanced stage. The AGITG’s research aims to improve the quality of treatment, so that these patients have more options and higher survival rates, and clinical trials have been at the heart of this research.

More information on colorectal cancer – its symptoms, causes and diagnoses – can be found here.

Below is a list of summaries of our clinical trials around colorectal cancer:


In Development


DYNAMIC – Rectal



In Follow-Up