Total Preoperative MR Diagnostic Evaluation Versus Standard Diagnostic Evaluation in Patients With Rectal Cancer

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01544452
Recruitment Status : Terminated (Lack of MR scanning capacity)
First Posted : March 6, 2012
Last Update Posted : December 2, 2014
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Michael Achiam, Herlev Hospital

Brief Summary:
Patients with rectal cancer undergo MRI of the rectum, CT of the thorax and abdomen (or thorax x-ray and ultrasonic liver evaluation) and colonoscopy as a total diagnostic evaluation before surgery. MR colonography have been shown to have high sensitivity and specificity for larger polyps and cancer and MRI of the liver have been shown to have similar or higher sensitivity than CT of the liver for metastasis. Since patients already undergo MR of the rectum, the investigators have proposed a total diagnostic evaluation with MRI of the liver, abdomen, colonography and rectum in one session (minus thorax evaluation) instead of two or three different methods of evaluation. The investigators hypothesis is that the total MR evaluation is equal or superior to the existing preoperative evaluation regarding the diagnosis of synchronous cancers and liver metastasis and regarding cost-benefit for the total diagnostic evaluation.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Rectal Cancer Liver Metastasis Procedure: MR colonography and MR of the liver Procedure: Standard diagnostic evaluation Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is among the most common cancer forms in Denmark with an approximate of 4300 new cases in Denmark annually, of which rectal cancer represents approximately 1400 new cases each year. It is also well known that synchronous cancer and polyps are present in up to 11% and 58% respectively in patients with CRC. It is assumed that adenomas constitute a precursor for cancer and it is thus speculated that the detection and removal of the adenoma could reduce the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer. Danish Colorectal Cancer Group (DCCG) and the Danish Surgical Society (DKS) currently recommend full colonic investigation as part of the preoperative assessment, which also includes MRI of the rectum, ultrasound of the liver and chest X-ray (or abdominal /chest CT) to locate possible metastasis or synchronous tumors. However, it is often difficult to implement the preoperative colonic investigation due to lack of capacity or tumor stenosis. A recent Danish study showed that up to 78% of all patients with colorectal cancer had not received the full colonic investigation preoperatively. In this instance the recommendation from DCCG & DKS is that patients in the absence of complete colonic investigation preoperatively, should undergo colonoscopy within 3 months postoperatively.

Within the last 15 years new non-invasive imaging techniques have been developed, this includes MR colonography (MRC). Like conventional colonoscopy, MRC requires bowel cleansing, since feces can create artifacts that can hide or mimic polyps and abnormalities. After cleansing the colon is distended by water using a rectal catheter. Since it is only water that needs to pass through a possibly stenotic colon segment, there is a better chance to successfully examine the entire colon compared to a colonoscopy. A recent study showed a 98% success rate using MRC to examine the entire colon in patients with CRC having colon stenosis. The MRC is preformed after the colon is fully distended with water and depending on the resolution needed the scan times are between 10 and 15 minutes. Data processing, reconstruction and analysis are made at an independent workstation.

The advantages of MRC are its non-invasive nature, short examination time, and the fact that sedation is unnecessary. This makes it possible for patients to be discharged directly after the imaging procedure as opposed to the necessity for admission after a colonoscopy until the effects of the sedative drugs have worn off. Furthermore, it is assumed that patient compliance is much higher in MRC, since almost every patient finds it less unpleasant than colonoscopy.

MRI of the liver is a well-known procedure that has shown good results in the diagnosis of hepatic metastases and primary cancers. Several studies have shown that it is equal or better than CT and ultrasound of the liver.

Currently there are no studies, which make the overall preoperative assessment by means of one investigating technique, namely MRI. The investigators have previously studied the sensitivity/specificity and patient satisfaction by MRI colonography with fecal tagging. In this study the investigators want to investigate the quality of MR-colonography with bowel cleansing, also assessing the economical aspects of an overall examination of the rectum, colon and liver in patients with rectal cancer.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 75 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Diagnostic
Official Title: Prospective Randomized Study of Total Preoperative MR Diagnostic Evaluation Versus Standard Diagnostic Evaluation in Patients With Rectal Cancer
Study Start Date : August 2010
Actual Primary Completion Date : February 2013
Actual Study Completion Date : February 2013

Arm Intervention/treatment
Total preoperative MR evaluation
Total diagnostic evaluation with MRI of the liver, abdomen, colonography and rectum in one session combined with CT thorax
Procedure: MR colonography and MR of the liver
Altered planned surgical procedure if MR colonoscopy reveals synchronous cancer or larger polyps
Other Name: Total preoperative MR evaluation

Standard diagnostic evaluation
Standard preoperative diagnostic evaluation for patients with rectal cancer, incl. CT thorax, abdomen and MRI of the rectum and colonoscopy
Procedure: Standard diagnostic evaluation
Altered planned surgical procedure if MR colonoscopy reveals synchronous cancer or larger polyps

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Synchronous colon cancers and liver metastasis [ Time Frame: 2013 (up to 4 years) ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. sensitivity/specificity of CT versus MR versus Peroperative ultrasonography of the liver [ Time Frame: 2013 (up to 4 years) ]

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients scheduled for operation for rectal cancer

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Pacemaker
  • Metal in the investigated areas
  • Claustrophobia
  • Age < 18 years
  • Pregnancy
  • Kidney disease
  • Arrhythmia

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01544452

Department of surgical gastroenterology, Copenhagen University Hospital at Herlev
Copenhagen, Denmark, 2730
Sponsors and Collaborators
Herlev Hospital
Principal Investigator: Michael P Achiam, MD, Ph.D. Herlev Hospital

Responsible Party: Michael Achiam, Senior Resident, M.D., ph.d., Herlev Hospital Identifier: NCT01544452     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: H-1-2009-094
First Posted: March 6, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: December 2, 2014
Last Verified: November 2014

Keywords provided by Michael Achiam, Herlev Hospital:
MR colonography
MR rectum
MR liver

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Rectal Neoplasms
Colorectal Neoplasms
Intestinal Neoplasms
Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
Digestive System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Digestive System Diseases
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Intestinal Diseases
Rectal Diseases