The research program at the RAH Colorectal Research Group has three main stems which cover major areas in colorectal patient care: Post-operative recovery, colorectal surgical oncology, and inflammatory bowel disease. Current and recent research activity is summarised below:
Colorectal Surgical Oncology
- CovidSurg: an international cohort study, aiming to assess the outcomes of surgery in patients diagnosed in COVID-19
- CovidSurg-Cancer: an international cohort study assessing the safety of surgery for all types of cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the pandemic in cancer delay and treatment pathways. https://globalsurg.org/covidsurg/
- SUNRRISE Trial Single Use Negative pRessure dressing for Reduction In Surgical site infection following Emergency laparotomy. This is a randomised controlled trial being run nationally and internationally, and likely to begin recruiting late 2019. Protocol here: www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mds/trials/bctu/trials/coloproctology/SUNRRISE/index.aspx
- Improving return of bowel function after colorectal surgery: A systematic review, case – control study, and the STIMULAX open label randomised controlled trial of post-operative STIMUlants and LAXatives after major colorectal surgery. All these studies are in progress, and active recruitment to the STIMULAX RCT has now started with 140 patients included so far.https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=375650
Colorectal Surgical Oncology
- Artificial intelligence and deep learning to more accurately diagnose positive lymph node disease on pre-operative imaging in colorectal cancer (data collection phase).
- TNT prospective study of Total Neoadjuvant Therapy in locally advanced and stage IV rectal cancer (ethics submission phase).
- RENO: Prospective Study of ‘Watch and Wait’ Strategy in Patients with Rectal Cancer who have Developed a Clinical Complete Response with concurrent Chemo‐radiotherapy: RENO trial (REctal cancer No Operation).
Protocol here: https://gicancer.org.au/clinical-trial/reno/#health-professionals
- REACCT collaborative: Research in Early Age Colorectal Cancer Trends. Data collected and submitted to the first study. Details here: twitter.com/REACCTcollab
- Impact of lateral pelvic lymph nodes on outcome after neoadjuvant chemoradiation for rectal cancer. A systematic review has been completed and is the writeup phase. We have looked at RAH data which demonstrates that patients with lateral node disease have a significantly higher rate of local recurrence, despite being treated with chemoradiation. We are now in the final stages of leading and completing an international case:control study looking at whether surgical resection of these nodes after chemoradiation affects outcome (this includes our patients, and those form major centres in the Netherlands and the USA).