"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”
A study looking at colonoscopies and CT scans for people with symptoms of bowel cancer
Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.
This study is for people who have symptoms that could be caused by bowel cancer. Everyone taking part has been asked by their doctor to have a test to look for the cause of their bowel symptoms.
It is for people going to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital.
More about this trial
Possible symptoms of bowel cancer include:
- blood in your poo (stools)
- constipation or a change in your normal bowel habit
- a lump in your back passage or tummy (abdomen)
For symptoms of bowel cancer, you usually have a test that looks at the inside of the bowel (a colonoscopy). This can help to find the cause of the bowel symptoms and look for early signs of bowel cancer.
But colonoscopies can cause some problems such as bleeding and a small tear (perforation) of the bowel. Colonoscopies are also expensive.
Another possible test is a type of CT scan called CT colonography. A CT scan uses x-rays to take detailed pictures of your body from different angles. They are safe and easy to have.
Doctors think that a CT colonography can take detailed pictures of the large bowel (colon) and back passage (rectum). And help to look for the cause of bowel symptoms.
Everyone taking part has either a colonoscopy or a CT colonography. Your doctor can agree which test you have. This is based on your preference and whether you can have the test.
The main aim of this trial is to find out whether a CT colonography is as good as colonoscopy as a first line test to look for the cause of bowel symptoms.
Who can enter
The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this study. Talk to your doctor or the study team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you.
Who can take part
You may be able to join this study if you are aged 40 or over, and have had a change in bowel habit that could potentially be caused by bowel cancer.
Who can’t take part
You cannot join this study if any of these apply. You:
- have low levels of red blood cells (anaemia)
- have had diarrhoea for more than 6 weeks
- have bleeding from your back passage
- have had a colonoscopy in the last 6 months
- have had bowel cancer
- are taking part in another clinical trial
- can’t speak or understand English
Researchers hope that around 246 people going to Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital will take part.
This study is in 2 parts (phases). Your doctor can tell you which part you will join. Both parts of the study will recruit people at the same time. This is so doctors get the number of people they need quickly.
Everyone has a colonoscopy. Doctors need 123 people to join this group. You have a colonoscopy in the same way as if you weren’t taking part in this study.
Your doctor can tell you more about what happens during a colonoscopy. It takes between 2 to 4 hours in total.
Researchers will ask 123 people to have a CT colonography. You also have this test in the same way as if you weren’t taking part in this trial. It takes just 15 minutes to have the scan. But it may take up to 30 minutes overall in the radiology department.
Everyone taking part completes a health questionnaire before the colonoscopy or CT colonography and then after:
- 3 months
- 6 months
The questionnaires ask about how the bowel symptoms have affected your
Doctors ask you to keep a diary for 6 months after the colonoscopy or CT colonography. And record any other tests or treatment you have had that are related to the bowel symptoms.
You don’t have any extra hospital visits as part of this study. You have the colonoscopy or CT colonography at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital.
Your doctor will tell you about all the possible side effects of having a colonoscopy or a CT colonography before you agree to take part. You have a phone number to call in case you are worried about anything.
The possible side effects of having a colonoscopy include:
- small tear of the bowel
- an allergic reaction to the sedation drug
The possible side effects of having a CT colonography include:
- an allergic reaction to the contrast medium (dye)
- swelling and pain around the site of the contract medium injection
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Nyree Griffin
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity
Kings College London
Transforming Outcomes and Health Economics through Imaging (TOHETI)