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Publication Detail
The CEA Second-Look Trial: a randomised controlled trial of carcinoembryonic antigen prompted reoperation for recurrent colorectal cancer.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Treasure T, Monson K, Fiorentino F, Russell C
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    e004385, ?
  • Journal:
    BMJ Open
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
    Published online
  • Country:
  • Print ISSN:
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    CHEMICAL PATHOLOGY, Adenocarcinoma, Adult, Aged, Carcinoembryonic Antigen, Colorectal Neoplasms, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Reoperation, Single-Blind Method
OBJECTIVE: In patients who have undergone a potentially curative resection of colorectal cancer, does a 'second-look' operation to resect recurrence, prompted by monthly monitoring of carcinoembryonic antigen, confer a survival benefit? DESIGN: A randomised controlled trial recruiting patients from 1982 to 1993 was recovered under the Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials (RIAT) initiative. SETTING: 58 hospitals in the UK. PARTICIPANTS: From 1982 to 1993, 1447 patients were enrolled. Of these 216 met the criteria for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) elevation and were randomised to 'Aggressive' or 'Conventional' arms. INTERVENTIONS: 'Second-look' surgery with intention to remove any recurrence discovered. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE: Survival. RESULTS: By February 1993, 91/108 patients had died in the 'Aggressive arm' and 88/108 in the 'Conventional' arm (relative risk=1.16, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.37). By 2011 a further 25 randomised patients had died. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed no difference in long-term survival. CONCLUSIONS: The trial was closed in 1993 following a recommendation from the Data Monitoring Committee that it was highly unlikely that any survival advantage would be demonstrated for CEA prompted second-look surgery. This conclusion was confirmed by repeat analysis of survival times after 20 years. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN76694943.
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