First patient enrolled in RENO

The RENO study has activated its first site and the first patient has been enrolled in the study. RENO is a study in rectal cancer titled: ‘A Prospective Study of Watch and Wait Strategy in Patients with Rectal Cancer who have obtained a Clinical Complete Response with Concurrent Chemo-radiotherapy (REctal Cancer No Operation).

The study will examine whether some people being treated for rectal cancer can forgo surgery after chemoradiotherapy treatment. Surgery can have long-term side effects and many patients need permanent stoma construction. After their chemoradiotherapy treatment, participants with no signs of residual disease will be enrolled into the ‘Watch and Wait’ arm of the study. They will be carefully monitored for any sign of local recurrence during follow up reviews.

Rectal cancer is an area where more research is needed. Deaths from rectal cancer are expected to rise by 60% by 2035, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Cancer.

If any sign of residual cancer is found after a participant completes chemoradiotherapy, they will be enrolled into the ‘standard management arm’ of the study and will proceed with standard management, including surgery.

Around 20% of patients develop an apparent complete response to chemoradiation. The aim of RENO is to demonstrate that at least 70% of these ‘clinical complete responder’ patients can preserve rectal anatomy and avoid major surgery without developing a local cancer recurrence. RENO’s Investigators aim to enrol a total of 250 participants – 50 in the ‘Watch and Wait arm, and 200 in the ‘Standard Management’ arm.

“It is incredibly exciting that RENO has opened to recruitment,” says Professor Chris Karapetis, Principal Investigator of RENO. “There is a gap in our knowledge when it comes to watching and waiting as an approach for rectal cancer.”

“I hope that this study will lead to a meaningful improvement in patient outcomes and guide future clinical practice for rectal cancer treatment.”

RENO is currently open at Flinders Medical Centre in South Australia.