Improving radical treatment through MRI evaluation of sigmoid cancers.
Rates of survival for bowel cancer are improving, but in contrast to previous decades this is happening more rapidly for patients with rectal cancer than colon cancers. Half of colon cancers occur in the left of the colon and the greatest proportion occurs in the sigmoid colon (an S-shaped loop situated above the rectum and below the pelvic inlet brim). Previously the MERCURY research programme, supported by Pelican, found that MRI scans before surgery can identify patients who have a higher risk of incomplete surgery in rectal cancer. This has consequently led to better pre-operative treatment and a drop in recurrence rates. Due to similar constraints of disease within the pelvis sigmoid cancer also has a high risk of recurrence but at the moment patients are not offered treatment before surgery.
This study, led by Ms Vera Tudyka and Professor Gina Brown, aims to use MRI scans, rather than CT scans which are offered at present, to stage sigmoid cancer. This will allow selection of more patients who would benefit from dedicated surgical road mapping and pre-operative treatment. 213 patients will be recruited from both existing MERCURY sites and new collaborative hospitals. This study could potentially help sigmoid cancer patients experience the benefits that have occurred in the field of rectal cancer.
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