Bowel Tumour Stream

The MOH signalled to DHBs and the Regional Cancer Networks that bowel cancer was a priority for 2009/10, 2010/11 and ongoing into 2011/12. The focus areas include improving access to cancer treatment, improving waiting times (both surgical and non surgical) and addressing inequalities.

In 2009 CCN worked with service providers to develop a regional report on bowel cancer (published August 2010) which identifies issues relating to the bowel cancer journey pathway and makes recommendations to address these.

CCN is working to address these issues and has identified the following regional activity (in relation to bowel cancer) in the CCN Annual Work Plan for 2011/12:

  • Reporting on bowel cancer indicators
  • Supporting regional implementation of standards etc developed by the National Bowel Cancer Work Group
  • Convene a regional forum to share information on national and regional developments relating to the diagnosis and treatment of bowel cancer
  • The Regional Bowel Cancer Steering Group (established in 2009) will work with the National Bowel Tumour Cancer Working Group (NBCWG) to implement best practice in the total management of bowel cancer in accordance with the recommendations of the NZ Cancer Control Strategy Action Plan, national cancer standards and any other guidance relating to bowel cancer.

    Regional Steering Group members agreed the following 3 priorities for the central region.

    1. Multidisciplinary meetings (including video conferencing and data collection)
    2. Prioritisation criteria for colonoscopy (including CT Colonography, and electronic referrals)
    3. Focus on inequities (which would include follow up and surveillance guidelines)

    The New Zealand Guidelines Group now has the Surveillance of people at increased risk of colorectal cancer live on their website. Available is:

  • Guidance on the surveillance of people at increased risk of colorectal cancer
  • Primary care practitioner summary
  • Consumer brochure
  • For up-to-date project information see the latest CCN programme update or contact Shirlee McLean, project manager.

    The Piper Project

    The PIPER Project: An Internal Examination of Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Management in New Zealand (HRC/MOH partnership grant 1 Oct 2011- 30 Sept 2014).


    1. To compare progression free survival in patients diagnosed with colon cancer and rectal cancer (CRC) according to: location of residence (urban or rural & distance from treating centre); ethnicity; and socio-economic deprivation of area of residence.
    2. To identify differences in patient presentation, management, treatment and follow-up which contribute to differences in outcome by rurality, ethnicity or socio-economic deprivation


    This is a 3 year project involving national review of patient notes and relevant regional databases for all patients diagnosed with CRC in 2007 & 2008.  An extended cohort of Maori and Pacific cases and a sample of non-Maori non-Pacific cases will also be collected from the years 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The total number of expected cases is 6352.  The data will be collected regionally by a local Data Manager/ Research Nurse.  Data will be collected for each patient for a period of 3 years post diagnosis (or until available for patient diagnosed after 2009).  Data will be entered into a database managed by Cancer Trials New Zealand.

    The proportions of patients meeting Key Performance Indicators considered best practice internationally will be calculated and compared between groups of urban/rural residence, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Suggested recommendations for service changes will be developed by the research group with guidance from the advisory group.

    Main outcome measure:

    Progression-free survival at 3 years post diagnosis


    • Funded by an HRC Partnership Grant 
    •  Supported by all 4 Cancer Networks
    • Also full support of consumer advocacy group Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa

    Primary Contacts

    Melissa Murray

    Project Manager

    Cancer Trials New Zealand, the University of Auckland

    P 09 923 5133


    Dr Christopher Jackson

    Project Lead

    Consultant Medical Oncologist & Senior Lecturer in Medicine, University of Otago

    P 03 474 0999


    Associated Documents

  • Bowel Cancer Project Scope
  • Last updated 23rd May 2012