What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is any cancer of the large bowel, including colon and rectal cancer.

You can learn about:

  • colorectal cancer and prevention, symptoms, treatment and clinical trials here,
  • colorectal cancer, its diagnosis, treatment and living with bowel cancer here, and
  • the symptoms of colorectal cancer and its diagnosis and treatment here.

Patients with colorectal cancer are usually treated with surgery to remove any cancerous tumours in the large bowel. Treatment may also involve drugs (chemotherapy) or radiotherapy. This ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work for everyone – some patients do not respond well to standard drug therapies.

What is the MErCuRIC project?

We already know that different colorectal tumours have different genes, and that this difference in genes is linked to whether or not certain drugs will work. We can use this knowledge to develop more ‘personalised’ treatments for patients – this is the focus of the MErCuRIC project.

During the project, we will carry out two international clinical trials of a new combination drug treatment that targets patients who have tumours with specific genes:

  • In the Phase I trial, we will look at the safety of the treatment and learn what doses of drug are most promising.
  • In the Phase II trial, we will use the safest and most promising doses from Phase I to look at how well the combination treatment works in a larger number of patients.

You can read more about the trial here.

Clinical Centres

Phase I and II trials will be carried out across Europe in the centres below.

In England, Oxford will recruit to the MErCuRIC clinical trials (Phase I and II) through the Oncology Clinical Trials Office. You can find more information here.

In Belgium, patients will be recruited to both Phase I and II trials through the University Hospital of Antwerp.

In Spain, patients will be recruited to both Phase I and II trials through the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology.

In Northern Ireland, patients will be recruited through the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Network.

In Wales, patients will be recruited through the Velindre Cancer Centre, for both Phase I and II trials.

In Ireland, patients will be recruited to the Phase I and II trials through the RCSI Beaumont Hospital.

In France, patients will be recruited through he Department of Medical Oncology at Saint-Antoine Hospital.