Skip to main content

Foxtrot 2 and 3: Enhancing bowel cancer treatment

Can giving specific groups of patients a course of chemotherapy before surgery help improve survival rates? Two international clinical trials which make up this £3.4 million study are working to find out.

Man who has been part of the Foxtrot research trial sitting in armchair

3,500 people

are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in Yorkshire

£3.4 million

funding received by Foxtrot

How it works

Every year in Yorkshire, 3,500 people in Yorkshire are diagnosed with bowel cancer and nearly 1,300 people lose their lives. Patients are usually treated with surgery first and may go on to have chemotherapy afterwards to help stop the cancer coming back.

Led by researchers at the University of Leeds and the University of Birmingham, these new studies will explore whether giving specific groups of patients a course of chemotherapy before surgery can help improve survival rates.

Recruitment is now open at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, with a further six centres in Yorkshire to follow soon.

“The new trials will save lives and improve the experience of patients in Yorkshire. As well as providing an opportunity to take part in research, which is known to improve survival rates, the trials will help bring gold-standard treatment to participating hospitals.”

Chief investigator of the trials and consultant medical oncologist at the University of Leeds
Dr Jenny Seligmann portrait photo

About Foxtrot

About clinical trials

Dr Stuart Griffiths, Director of Research at Yorkshire Cancer Research said: “Yorkshire Cancer Research funds work that has a direct impact right here in the region. Our aim is to save 2,000 lives from cancer every year in Yorkshire, and we bring pioneering trials and world-leading research to the region to help achieve this.

“We can save lives right now simply by improving the treatments we already have. This evidence-based, pioneering approach to treatment is already saving lives throughout the world, and as a charity we would like to find out if it can be adapted so many more people benefit from it.

“If successful, the findings from the trial can quickly be incorporated into normal clinical practice, meaning this research could have an impact on patients straight away. As a result, more people will survive bowel cancer right now, rather than 20 or 30 years down the line.”

The University of Leeds is the sponsor for the trials, with co-ordination by the Clinical Trials Research Unit.

Dr David Cairns, Director of Late Phase Trials in the Cancer Division at the Clinical Trials Research Unit at Leeds, said: “Clinical trials are important because they provide gold-standard evidence to say if a new treatment should be used in the NHS. Participants in a trial might get a new treatment, or a change in the way existing treatments are delivered as in the case of FOxTROT, before it is available to everyone, but even if not, they play a more active role in their own health care with a clear treatment plan described from the start.

“Evidence suggests that clinical trial participants do better than those outside of clinical trials, perhaps through being carefully monitored at research-active hospitals. Bringing world-leading, scientifically rich clinical trials to Yorkshire brings the opportunity to discover the tests and treatments of the future. We are excited to be opening FOxTROT in many of our Yorkshire hospitals giving the opportunity for more patients in our region to benefit from these important clinical trials.”

Read the academic trial summary

Lead researchers

Dr Jenny Seligmann

University of Leeds

Professor Dion Morton

University of Birmingham

Every 17 minutes someone is diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire

Our aim is for more people to survive cancer, here in Yorkshire and beyond.

Please help us continue to fund life-saving research.

Donate today