Dr James East
For many diseases a large proportion of patients will be a low risk of developing a serious complication of their disease becoming uncontrolled over time. It is therefore important to be able to pick out those few patients who are at risk of a poor outcome. This will save the lower risk patients unnecessary investigation, treatment or surveillance, and focus our resources on those at highest risk. As an example, we will attempt using genetic analysis of precancerous polyps and stem cells to separate patients with bowel inflammation (ulcerative colitis) into those at high and low risk of severe inflammation or bowel cancer. Those at higher risk might get more intensive checking the bowel with colonoscopy or need to consider early surgery.