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researcher in the lab

“I’m hoping to show that a relatively simple idea can have a disproportionately positive effect on the lives of women with the disease.” Dr Agnieszka Michael

Lead researcher:

Dr Agnieszka Michael

Location: University of Surrey

Research strand: Support

A very large proportion of women with advanced ovarian cancer may develop a blockage in the bowel, which is often inoperable. Bowel obstruction causes significant issues to women, stopping them from being able to absorb essential food and nutrients. Providing the right nutritional support for women with inoperable bowel obstruction is extremely challenging.

Elemental Diet (ED) provides nutrition in the form of amino acids and easily digestible nutrients that are almost totally absorbed in the upper small intestine and could be of benefit to women. The initial concept is the product of the space race and was originally developed by NASA for astronauts.

The aim of the project is to assess whether Elemental Diet would be tolerated by women with inoperable bowel obstruction. The study will also assess whether this diet can meet some of the women’s nutritional requirements and have a positive impact on their quality of life. If successful, this research would be a big step towards improving the quality of life and would help women live longer.

This project could also help improve the management of bowel obstruction, contributing to the development of national guidelines for managing this condition.