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DPhil start date

April 2016

Project title

Determination of prognostic factors in early rectal cancer and the implications for rectal preservation surgery


Mr Chris Cunningham, Dr Simon Leedham and Professor Freddie Hamdy

Helen Jones

MBChB Auckland, FRCSEd, MMedSci Keele, MLitt St. And.

DPhil student

I graduated in medicine from the University of Auckland, then worked for several years as a doctor, specialising in colorectal surgery. I took a career break and worked as a statistician in London for a few years before returning to a medical career in Oxford in 2013. 

I am currently in my first year of a DPhil looking at prognostic factors in early rectal cancer and the implications for rectal preservation surgery. Rectal cancer affects 11,000 people per year in the UK; early rectal cancer is increasingly common due to screening programmes. Minimally-invasive surgery which preserves the rectum is much better tolerated by patients than conventional radical surgery. However, it risks leaving involved lymph nodes which may later cause recurrence. In order to fully inform patients about the risks and implications of different surgical options and the most appropriate adjuvant treatments, it is important to have as much information as possible, as early as possible after diagnosis, about each specific patient’s tumour, so that treatment can be personalised.   

Recent publications

More publications