About us

Driving innovation and development in bowel (colorectal), bladder, prostate and liver cancer treatment through research and education

Pelican Cancer Foundation is dedicated to curing and improving quality of life for patients with ‘pe’lvic area (bowel – colorectal – bladder, prostate) and secondary ‘li’ver ‘can’cer through supporting clinical research and advancing precision surgery and treatment.

Surgery cures more people than any other cancer intervention

We deliver courses and workshops for cancer specialists – surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, oncologists and nurses – sharing life-saving and life-enhancing knowledge and skills with cancer teams across the UK and worldwide.

More than 9,000 cancer specialists have attended Pelican courses and workshops

A member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and a partner organisation of the National Institute of Health Research, we support medical research through providing fellowships and funding whole studies. 

Since 2000 Pelican has invested over £2 million in vital clinical research

Established in 1993, the origins of the Foundation date back to the promotion of the ground-breaking work of Professor Bill Heald and his colleagues at Basingstoke in the development of bowel cancer surgery. The pioneering Total Mesorectal Excision (TME) procedure is now the benchmark treatment for rectal cancer across the world. TME halves the chance of cancer returning, minimises side-effects and an additional 3,000 people are alive every year in the UK alone due to the techniques of TME surgery.

Nearly half of all bowel cancer patients go on to develop liver cancer – secondary cancer or liver metastases (mets). Through research and education Pelican supports advancing ways to predict which patients will develop liver metastases and development of treatments options – methods of operating and growth of new drugs to enable more patients to undergo surgery. Mr Merv Rees and colleagues at Basingstoke lead meetings and courses for clinicians on developments in liver metastases.

Basingstoke is one of only two specialist centres in the UK to treat pseudomyxoma, a rare cancer usually originating in the appendix.  The centre forms part of the colorectal unit, and patients are referred to the centre from across the country.

Pelican Cancer Foundation has a world-wide reputation as a centre of excellence and forum for bringing together cancer surgeons and teams to encourage learning, collaboration and discussion, and for driving improvements in cancer care.

In our view all surgeons should come and see the experts work at Pelican….
The bottom line is they’ll save lives as a result.
Professor Alex Deutsch,  
Chair of the Yanir Foundation for the Advancement of Colorectal  Surgery    

Pelican is about curing cancer and improving cancer patients’ lives today,
dedicated to advancing cancer treatment today and tomorrow