Professor Philip Quirke

by | 19 Jul 2022 | Leeds, Supervisors | 0 comments

Professor Philip Quirke.Email:
Tel: +44(0)113 343 8407

Research profile and key clinical specialties

Phil leads the pathology of the NHS Bowel Cancer screening programme, as well as being a NIHR Senior Investigator, Fellow of the United Kingdom Academy of Medical Sciences and President of the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Phil has is best known for his work on the importance of the circumferential resection margin and its relationship to local recurrence and survival, its association with poor surgery and the importance of total mesorectal excision in reducing incomplete excision and improving bowel cancer.

Further study of abdominoperineal excisions has highlighted the need for personalised excision margins based on MRI and the need for extralevator APE in some patients. More recent work has highlighted issues with the quality of colon cancer surgery.

Phil is involved in over 40 past, current or planned trials including important trials such as MRC CLASICC and EME Rolarr investigating laparoscopic and robotic surgery, MRC CR07 demonstrating the importance of the quality of surgery and on molecular studies on stage II and stage IV disease (Quasar, NCRI Foxtrot, MRC Axis, MRC Focus 1-4,etc.) to name just a few.

Two key publications

  • Quirke P et al. MRC CR07/NCIC-CTG CO16 Trial Investigators; NCRI Colorectal Cancer Study Group. Effect of the plane of surgery achieved on local recurrence in patients with operable rectal cancer: a prospective study using data from the MRC CR07 and NCIC-CTG CO16 randomised clinical trial. Lancet. 2009 Mar 7;373(9666):821-8.
  • Findlay I, Taylor A, Quirke P, Frazier R, Urquhart A. DNA fingerprinting from single cells. Nature.1997 Oct 9;389(6651):555-6. PMID: 9335493

Possible PhD projects

  • Single cell analysis of early colorectal neoplasia; towards a better understanding of its development and progression.

More information


Keywords: bowel cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, colorectal neoplasia, abdominoperineal excisions, extralevator APE, Philip, Quirke, Leeds