Bowel cancer surgeon awarded US honour

Basingstoke bowel cancer surgeon and former Pelican research fellow Nick Battersby has received one of America’s highest medical accolades in bowel surgery.


Mr Battersby won the prestigious Robert W. Beart, MD, Impact Paper of the Year Award from the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons for a paper published in the US journal Diseases of the Colon and Rectum.

Mr Battersby’s award-winning paper, Predicting the Risk of Bowel-Related Quality-of-Life Impairment After Restorative Resection for Rectal Cancer, gained the approval of an international gathering of surgeons and clinicians at the meeting at Washington State Convention Centre in Seattle.

He said: “Receiving the award is a great personal honour, but more importantly it is a positive recognition to all of our collaborators as well as to the patients who took the trouble to provide their feedback.

“Usually papers discussing cancer survival or technical details win this award. So I am delighted that a paper that focuses on quality of life has won. I hope this represents a shift in the mind-set of cancer surgeons and oncologists towards living with and beyond cancer and the consequences of cancer treatment.

“The Pelican research fellow position has a track record of delivering high quality research and gave me the opportunity to work with world leaders in surgery, pathology and radiology. Working with these experts has enabled us to deliver high quality studies, but it has also dramatically improved my understanding of rectal cancer and my operative technique.

“We continue to work on the TRIGGER trial, which is a Pelican funded rectal cancer study, and we hope to show that smarter use of cancer scans will allow us to better select treatments so that we can improve survival outcomes and quality of life at the same time. The responses so far are encouraging but the trial is only in the early stages.”

As a Pelican research fellow, Mr Battersby worked on a low rectal cancer study called Mercury II and developed POLARS, a mathematical model used to help doctors and patients understand the level of risk of poor bowel function following rectal surgery.

Listen to Nick Battersby’s podcast on Predicting the Risk of Bowel-Related Quality-of-Life Impairment After Restorative Resection for Rectal Cancer: A Multicenter Cross-Sectional Study at

Pelican’s chief executive Sarah Crane said: “Congratulations to Nick and collaborators for receiving this internationally-acclaimed award.

“It is a well-deserved accolade which reflects his hard work and dedication, both in clinical research with Pelican, and in bowel cancer surgery.”

Pelican, a Basingstoke-based charity, funds clinical research into advancing precision surgery in the treatment of bowel, liver, bladder and prostate cancers.

Since 2003, it has invested more than £2.5 million in research and trained around 13,000 clinicians on courses and workshops that cover the latest advances in cancer treatment, technology and surgical techniques.