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The DISSECT trial: A trial looking at a different way of doing surgery to remove pancreatic cancer (called the peri-adventitial surgical approach) to try to remove all the cancer cells near major blood vessels.

Research title: The DISSECT Study: Effect of Peri-aDventItial SMA diSsECtion on Margin sTatus during Pancreaticoduodenectomy for Resectable Pancreatic Cancer

Why is this trial being carried out?

For pancreatic cancer that is contained within the pancreas, surgery to remove it is the best option. Sometimes the cancer may grow very close to large blood vessels near the pancreas, including the superior mesenteric artery (SMA). This can make it harder to remove all the cancer cells during surgery.

The DISSECT trial is looking at a way of doing surgery that aims to remove more of the tissue around the blood vessels. This way of doing surgery is called the peri-adventitial approach. Through this study, researchers hope to learn whether using this approach helps to remove all the cancer cells if the cancer is close to a major blood vessel. Removing these cancer cells may prevent the cancer from coming back.

The study will compare the new approach with the current standard surgery. People taking part will have surgery using either:

Who is the trial suitable for?

The DISSECT trial may be suitable for you if:

  • your pancreatic cancer is localised and has not spread to other parts of the body
  • you are having a Whipple’s procedure to remove pancreatic cancer.
  • you are based in the UK, as this study is being done in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

It is not suitable for you if:

There may be other reasons for not being able to take part in the trial. For this reason, it is important to speak to your oncologist (cancer doctor) about whether this trial might be suitable for you.

What does the trial involve?

To take part in the DISSECT trial, you will first have tests to make sure the trial is suitable for you (this is called screening). If the trial is suitable, you will be randomly selected to have surgery using either the standard or the new approach. This is called a randomised controlled trial. This way, researchers can fairly compare the two ways of doing the surgery and see if one is better than the other. You will be told which surgery you had after you wake up from surgery.

After the surgery, your medical team will do the standard check-ups that you would usually have after surgery. You won’t need to see the research team again. Instead, the researchers will get your results through hospital records, to see how well the surgery has worked. The trial is looking for 102 people to take part in this study.

Recruitment start date: April 26, 2021

Recruitment end date: October 06, 2022

Published: May 2022

Review date: May 2024

  • Trial centres

    The DISSECT trial is being carried out at:

    • University Hospitals of Birmingham NHS Trust, Birmingham, B15 2GW

    Trial leads

    Nikolaos Chatzizacharias and Sarah Powell-Brett

    Contact information

    Nikolaos Chatzizacharias: Nikolaos.Chatzizacharias@uhb.nhs.uk
    Sarah Powell-Brett: sarah.powell-brett1@nhs.net

  • How to join a trial

    Please speak to your consultant about whether this trial is suitable for you.

    If you have any questions about pancreatic cancer you can speak to one of our specialist nurses on our Support Line.

    How to find out more

    For further information about this trial go to the ClinicalTrials.Gov website.

    For references used to develop this information please email us.