The NICE FIT Study is a pioneering new research project in Bowel Cancer Care that has been initiated by the department of Colorectal Surgery at Croydon University Hospital and RM Partners Accountable Cancer Network in South and West London.
Evidence from studies conducted around the world has suggested that FIT could rule out bowel cancer in symptomatic patients. This could avoid the need for a colonoscopy in patients being investigated with bowel symptoms. Consequently, FIT has been launched in several parts of the UK, and is being readied for usage in London.
However, only one large research study on FIT has been published in England. As faecal haemoglobin levels vary by age, sex, ethnicity and deprivation, large scale diagnostic studies are required to create reference values for the English population.
The NICE FIT study is the largest study in England investigating whether FIT can be used to rule out bowel cancer instead of a colonoscopy. The aim is to test a minimum of 5500 patients in London, and further patients across the UK to create a robust evidence base that patients, GPs and hospital doctors can use with confidence. NHS England is funding this study through RM Partners. Alpha Laboratories is providing the FIT analyser, the FIT kits, the raw materials and patient instruction leaflets.
All NHS England hospitals that manage referrals for suspected colorectal cancer are eligible to join the study.
The study team has created a website where full details can be found www.nicefitstudy.com