A study looking at a new way to screen for bowel cancer

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Bowel (colorectal) cancer

Status:

Closed

Phase:

Pilot

This study is looking at a screening test called a bowel scope to try to improve the NHS Scotland Bowel Cancer Screening Programme.

Bowel cancer screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage when treatment is more likely to work. In Scotland, people aged between 50 and 74 years old are sent a stool testing kit (faecal occult blood test or FOB) every 2 years.

The researchers in this study want to improve current screening for bowel cancer and are offering some people a type of screening test called a bowel scope or flexible sigmoidoscopy. This test is already used to find small growths (polyps) in the bowel that could possibly become cancerous.

People living in Scotland who are due to have a FOB test will also be invited to have the bowel scope test. The researchers will compare the results with people having the usual FOB bowel cancer screening test.

The aims of the study are to find out

  • How good bowel scope screening is at preventing bowel cancer
  • How acceptable people think it is
  • Whether to offer the test to everyone in Scotland who is due to have bowel cancer screening

Who can enter

You may be able to join this study if all of the following apply. You

  • Are due to be invited to take part in bowel cancer screening
  • Live in Scotland
  • Are around 60 years old

Trial design

The researchers will invite 20,000 people to take part in bowel scope screening. Doctors call this the intervention group.

Everybody else due for screening will be invited to have the FOB test as usual. Doctors call this the control group.

If you are in the intervention group, you are sent a letter about the study followed by an invitation to have a bowel scope. If you decide to take part you are offered an appointment at the hospital for the bowel scope test (flexible sigmoidoscopy).

When you have a bowel scope test, the doctor puts a thin tube into your back passage to examine the inside of the bowel and remove any growths (polyps) from the bowel lining.  They might also take a small sample of the bowel (biopsy) to be looked at under a microscope. If you chose not to have the bowel scope test, you will be invited to take part in the standard FOB screening test.

If you are in the control group you are sent a letter inviting you to take part in FOB bowel cancer screening. This comes with a booklet about the programme, and a kit to collect a tiny amount of one of your bowel movements (stool or faeces), which you send back in a hygienic envelope to be tested.

Hospital visits

You go to the hospital for the bowel scope test. It takes about 15 minutes.

You don’t have any hospital visits if you are in the control group and take part in the standard bowel cancer screening.

Side effects

If you are having the bowel scope test, there is a small risk of damage to your bowel, or bleeding, but this is rare.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Bob Steele

Supported by

NHS Tayside
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Scottish Government Health Directorates
University of Dundee

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 11989

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Alan took part in a clinical trial for bowel cancer patients

A picture of ALan

“I think it’s essential that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

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