The projects we are funding

RTD provides further funding for the mASCARA project

Following its initial funding, which resulted in:

  • The first International Cancer Registry for Anal Squamous Carcinoma (ASCC)
  • The recruitment of 30 clinical centres to the registry in the last 2 years
  • An agreement by NHS England to mandate all specialist centres in England to take part in mASCARA
  • Several publications and international presentations

Our second grant will ensure that research into ASCC continues as planned, so that the results can be presented at the International Colorectal tripartite meeting now scheduled for February 2022, to collect the data required for the online dashboard that will be used by NHS England to monitor best care for patients, and to research the role of cervical screening attendance on ASCC incidence using mASCARA data. The latter to be fulfilled by Miss Micol Lupi, a research fellow, who is also a colorectal surgeon training at the Royal Marsden from April 2021, recently recruited to the mASCARA project.


The incidence of ASCC and Anal Intraepithelial Neoplasia (AIN), its precursor, which is an uncommon cancer, is increasing rapidly by an overall 63% in the UK since the 1990s. From Cancer Research UK data, an estimated 91% of cases were preventable in 2015, by the identification and treatment of high-grade AIN. ASCC also has excellent outcomes if identified early but there is much discrepancy in best surgical practice for the treatment and prevention of ASCC. An international database, the key outcome of the mASCARA project, is already enabling the collaboration needed to acquire statistically significant patient numbers to make a profound positive impact on the treatment of this disease.”