Colorectal Liver Metastases

Mr Robert Jones is the SSL for Colorectal Liver Metastases.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK. Around 10,000 people every year are diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer (also known as stage 4 bowel cancer), where the cancer has spread to other organs, most often the liver or lungs. Most people survive bowel cancer when they’re diagnosed early, but unfortunately survival rates drop significantly at this later stage as there are currently less viable treatment options.

This is why it is so important that patients with advanced disease gain access to the liver and lung specialists as part of their ongoing care to give them the best possible chance to extend their life or even reach a cure.

Over the three year appointment, Mr Jones will strive to address the absence of treatment options by championing and developing new clinical trials and driving innovative research in this area.

Robert Jones

Bowel Cancer UK

Supported by Bowel Cancer UK  

Updates from CRLM SSL


New trials


A national patient-facing prospective platform study of PROMs for stage 4 CRC

  • Collaboration between colorectal SSL, trainee SSLs (colorectal/aCRC)
  • Extensive development work with PPI, ACPGBI, BCUK
  • Invited to apply to BDRF 2021
  • Due to open Q3 2021

ctDNA in high risk stage 3 CRC

CI of an industry-funded (Biontech) investigator-initiated proof of concept study for ctDNA in locally advanced CRC with high risk of developing “metachronous” metastases

  • Adopted to NIHR portfolio
  • Opened November 2020
  • 23 patients recruited to date
  • Trainee delivered

ctDNA in stage 4 CRC

Industry funded cohort study (Tron) for ctDNA as early biomarker of recurrence after liver resection

  • Sys rvw of ctDNA in stage 4 disease published in Eur Journ Cancer
  • Study endorsed by NCRI advanced colorectal cancer subgroup
  • Industry funding secured
  • Due to open Q4 2021


Co-applicant for i4i stage 2 grant looking at novel ultrasound technology to increase drug delivery to solid tumours

  • Invited for full grant application


Co-investigator for locoregional management of oligometastatic metastases (SABR/Surgery)

Invited for full CRUK application, deferred by CRUK until 2021


Co-investigator (HPB lead) for prospective study assessing presence and viability of COVID-19 in abdominal tissue.

  • Funded, open for recruitment, on NIHR Portfolio


Local prospective cohort study investigating efficacy of current pre-operative screening for COVID-19 in elective cancer surgery.

  • Trainee led, trainee delivered
  • Open, recruiting.
Other research (non-trial) activity

Patient defined and controlled follow-up after surgery for metastatic colorectal cancer

Developing patient controlled and personalised follow-up after surgery for mCRC

  • Pan-AUGIS survey in process (with OG & panc leads, Roux group)
  • Trainee-led systematic review submitted for publication
  • Qualitative research package on patient/clinician reasons for follow-up
  • Define core outcome set for patients being followed up after liver resection for mCRC

Trade-offs & patient preferences for locally advanced and metastatic colorectal cancer

Working with health economists and patients to help map longitudinal changes in patients’ preferences and importance of different outcomes throughout cancer treatment, including decision making regret.

  • Application for RFPB Grant March 2021

ACRC in the young

Working with National Cancer Observatory/MRC UK Colorectal Cancer Intelligence Hub to map NCRAS/HES data, to identify treatment patterns for patients <50yrs with mCRC

  • Trainee-led group
  • Aligns with key strategic aim of Bowel Cancer UK
  • Data request submitted via MRC, output expected Q3 2021


Promotion of existing trials


I have joined TSG, supported appointment of associate PIs at all recruiting sites


Promoted recruitment, advertising


  • Worked  extensively with Bowel Cancer UK (co-funder of my post) to develop a series of blogs, videos and booklets for patients with advanced colorectal cancer.
  • Have delivered a virtual training day for Clinical Nurse Specialists about surgery for advanced metastatic cancer, to encourage referral to appropriate centres.