“I think it’s essential that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”
A trial looking at keyhole surgery for bowel cancer (CLASICC)
We know that this is an especially worrying time for people with cancer and their family and friends. We have separate information about coronavirus and cancer. Please read that information alongside this page. We will update that information as guidance changes.
This trial compared keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery with standard open surgery for bowel (colorectal) cancer.
When this trial was done, surgery for bowel cancer was usually ‘open surgery’. This involves making a cut in the abdomen (tummy). ‘Keyhole surgery’ is done through much smaller cuts in the abdomen. The surgeon uses a camera (laparoscope) to see inside the body to remove the cancer. Although the keyhole operation takes longer than open surgery, patients don’t spend as long recovering and there are fewer side effects.
The aims of this trial were to find out
- If keyhole surgery is safe
- If keyhole surgery is as useful as open surgery at stopping cancer from coming back
- More about side effects and quality of life
Summary of results
The researchers found that keyhole surgery is as useful as open surgery for all stages of bowel cancer.
The trial recruited 794 patients with bowel cancer
- A third had open surgery
- Two thirds had keyhole surgery
The researchers looked at whose cancer had come back, how many people were alive 3 years after treatment and quality of life. They found no difference between the 2 treatment groups.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor PJ Guillou
Medical Research Council (MRC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer