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Biggest bowel cancer research trial of its kind is being run from Norwich

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital team behind the worlds’ biggest prehabilitation and rehabilitation cancer study with a PREPARE ABC cake made by the daughter of a grateful patient. Pic NNUH.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital team behind the worlds' biggest prehabilitation and rehabilitation cancer study with a PREPARE ABC cake made by the daughter of a grateful patient. Pic NNUH.

NNUH

The biggest research trial of its kind in the world, exploring the advantages of exercise before and after bowel cancer surgery, is being run from Norwich.

And the research study has reached a recruitment landmark, after it recruited its 500th patient - halfway to its 1,000 patient target.

The PREPARE ABC study is being run by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Norwich Clinical Trials Unit at the University of East Anglia.

The study, which started in 2016 and is running at more than 25 sites across the UK, is looking at the benefits of patients undergoing a home-based or hospital-based exercise programme, compared to standard care in the weeks before and after colorectal surgery.

The £2m project, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, is looking to see how a programme of moderate or intense exercise will affect the quality of life of patients one year after their surgery and complication rates for patients 30 days after surgery.

The study aims to involve more than 1,000 patients nationwide.

James Hernon, NNUH consultant in general and colorectal surgery and honorary senior lecturer at UEA's Norwich Medical School, is chief investigator of PREPARE ABC.

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He said he hoped that the study will shape future guidelines on exercise before and after cancer surgery.

He said: "To date it is the biggest prehabilitation and rehabilitation cancer study worldwide and it is a big team effort involving our nurses, physiotherapists and the Norwich Clinical Trials Unit.

"It is widely regarded that increasing levels of exercise before and after surgery leads to a better quality of life.

"However, there had been no studies that have been big enough to reliably show exercise makes a difference for these patients.

"We want it to influence national and international guidelines on the prehabilitation and rehabilitation of patients who are receiving surgery.

"We won't know the results until a year after the trial finishes.

"However, we are recruiting patients young and old and with a range of fitness levels."

For more information about the study, including how to sign up to take part in it, visit www.uea.ac.uk/prepare-abc

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