A trial to improve keyhole surgery for rectal cancer

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

Cancer type:

Bowel (colorectal) cancer
Rectal cancer





This trial is looking at looking whether 3D images improve the accuracy of keyhole surgery for rectal cancer. Rectal cancer is cancer of the back passage (rectum).

More about this trial

In keyhole surgery Open a glossary item surgeons use a small camera which shows 2 dimensional (2D) images on a television screen. This allows the surgeons to see where the cancer is and safely remove it.

There is now equipment with a screen that shows 3 dimensional (3D) images like 3D films shown at the cinema. This has been successfully used in surgery to remove other types of cancer. But it has not yet been used in surgery for rectal cancer.

A 3D image might give a better view of the rectum and where the cancer is. So this could improve the accuracy of the surgery. But this isn’t known for sure.

In this trial, your surgeon will do the surgery using either the 2D equipment or the 3D equipment.

The aim of the trial is to see if the 3D equipment does help improve the accuracy of the surgery.

Taking part in this trial will not affect your treatment in anyway.

Who can enter

The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this trial. Talk to your doctor or the trial team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you.

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

  • Have an adenocarcinoma of the rectum   
  • Are going to have a total mesorectal excision (TME) or partial mesorectal excision  
  • Are having keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery with the aim of removing all your cancer (to cure it)  
  • Are at least 18 years old

You cannot join this trial if any of these apply. You:

  • Have rectal cancer that has spread to the surrounding organs
  • Are having your anus and rectum completely removed (abdomino perineal resection Open a glossary item)  
  • Have had surgery or radiotherapy to the area between your hipbones (pelvis) or tummy (abdomen) for other cancer types
  • Are having surgery to relieve symptoms only and not with the aim of curing your cancer
  • Have or had inflammatory bowel disease

Trial design

The researchers need 72 people to join.

This is a randomised trial. The people taking part are put into 1 of 2 groups. Neither you or your doctor can choose which group you are in.

To do your surgery the surgeon will use either the equipment that shows the

  • 2 dimensional (2D) image
  • 3 dimensional (3D) image

Trial Diagram

This will not affect how or when your surgery is done. The only difference is the camera and screen your surgeon uses.

After surgery the researchers will look at your hospital notes to get the information they need about your recovery. 

Hospital visits

There are no extra hospital visits if you agree to take part. 

Side effects

There are no expected side effects from taking part in the study.

Your doctor and surgeon will talk to you about the surgery and what to expect.

We have information about what to expect before your surgery and after your surgery.

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 Nader K Francis

Supported by

European Association of Endoscopic Surgeons
Karl Storz UK
Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


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

Wendy took part in a new trial studying the possible side effect of hearing loss

A picture of Wendy

"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”

Last reviewed:

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