IntAct- IFA to prevent anastomotic leak in rectal cancer surgery

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    IntAct: Intraoperative Fluorescence Angiography to Prevent Anastomotic Leak in Rectal Cancer Surgery



  • Contact name

    Julie Croft

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Leeds

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    3 years, 11 months, 31 days

  • Research summary

    Surgery for colorectal cancer can offer a cure, but is associated with complications and even death. One of the most serious complications is anastomotic leak (AL). This happens when a join in the bowel does not heal properly, causing faecal contents to spill into the abdomen. ALs cause patients to become very unwell and 1 in 5 do not survive. Those who do survive can go on to experience difficulties with wound healing, longer stays in hospital, the need for a stoma (a bag to collect faeces),and increased risk of cancer coming back. One way to reduce the risk of AL is to ensure that the bowel being joined has a good blood supply. Intraoperative fluorescent angiography (IFA) has recently been introduced to help with this. During IFA a drug is injected into the blood which fluoresces(glows) when viewed with a special camera. The blood supply to the bowel can then be seen and helps the surgeon to decide which part of the bowel to use for the anastomosis. The trial will recruit 880 patients from hospitals in Europe. Patients will be randomly allocated to either surgery with IFA or standard care (surgery without IFA). The rates of AL will be compared between the groups to see if IFA decreases leak rate. The trial will also look at complications, bowel function, patients’ quality of life,and value for money.Two sub-studies will be undertaken to better understand why some anastomoses leak. 75 UK patients will take part in the perfusion substudy and will undergo a preoperative CT scan to look at variations in blood supply to the bowel,how radiotherapy affects blood supply,and how this alters IFA assessment and surgical decision-making. 200 UK patients will also undergo evaluation of bacteria within the rectum (microbiome analysis) to see if there is a link with AL.

  • REC name

    North West - Preston Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    20 Apr 2017

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion