Patients first. As the research lead of the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Colorectal Research Group, the singular focus of the group is to undertake patient centred outcomes research targeted to reducing patient morbidity associated with colorectal surgery, improving surgical outcomes and bettering recovery after surgery. Current thinking is to incorporate personalised treatment pathways into standard clinical care and acknowledge the importance of patient engagement in discussion surrounding treatment pathways. This will facilitate research that captures functional outcomes and quality of life from a patient perspective.
By tailoring and targeting rectal cancer treatment more effectively we hope to improve treatment compliance leading to better long-term patient outcomes including disease free and overall survival. This approach is anticipated to increase the potential for non-operative management of rectal cancer. Additionally, increasing patient engagement in clinical research is expected to identify areas of unmet need to improve functional outcomes with long term impact on quality of life, particularly for those who are managed non-operatively and do not need surgery.