The Royal Marsden Diagnosis and treatment

Q&A: new pelvic exenteration study

Mr Shahnawaz Rasheed, Consultant Surgeon, explains how a new study is looking into the quality of life of patients who require pelvic exenteration for advanced colorectal cancer

What is a pelvic exenteration?

Some patients with advanced or recurrent colorectal cancer are offered a pelvic exenteration, which is a major operation to remove some or all of the organs in the pelvis. It is a potentially curative treatment option for these patients and is only carried out in a few centres across the UK by highly specialised teams.

What is the aim of the study?

Little information exists with regards to an individual’s personal, functional, social, physical and emotional wellbeing as a result of this treatment. Our study aims to understand the impact that a pelvic exenteration has on a patient’s quality of life. An important question for these patients is whether their resulting quality of life will make undergoing such extensive surgery worthwhile.

How will this study benefit patients?

We expect to have results from the study in early 2018. The results will give clinicians and patients a better understanding of the impact that this operation has, and will help us to counsel and prepare patients on what to expect.

Who is involved?

Professor Paris Tekkis, Mr Christos Kontovounisios and I are undertaking this research with support from Mr Daniel Baird, Colorectal Research Registrar. The study has received support and funding from the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research, as well as Imperial College London.