Rectal Cancer Research
Rectal cancer research studies are designed to answer important questions and determine whether new approaches are safe and effective. Doctors and scientists are studying new ways to treat rectal cancer, such as new drugs, new combinations of chemotherapy, and the effectiveness of using radiaton therapy before and after surgery. Other rectal cancer research is being conducted to develop new screening tests to detect the disease before symptoms appear.
Rectal Cancer Research: An IntroductionDoctors and scientists all over the country are conducting rectal cancer research. Rectal cancer research studies are designed to answer important questions and to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective. Rectal cancer research already has led to many advances, and researchers continue to search for more effective methods of dealing with rectal cancer.
Current Focus of Rectal Cancer ResearchRectal cancer research scientists are focusing on new drugs, new combinations of chemotherapy, and combinations of chemotherapy and radiation before and after surgery. Biological therapy is also under investigation. Biological therapy is a treatment that uses substances made by the body or made in a laboratory to boost, direct, or restore the body's natural defenses against cancer. This type of rectal cancer treatment is also called biotherapy or immunotherapy.
Other rectal cancer research is being conducted to develop new screening tools to detect the cancer before signs or symptoms of the disease appear. Tests currently being studied include:
- Virtual colonoscopy
- DNA stool test.
Virtual colonoscopy is a procedure in which a series of x-rays called computed tomography is used to make pictures of the colon and rectum. A computer puts the pictures together to create detailed images that may show polyps and anything else that seems unusual on the inside surface. This test is also called colonography or CT colonography. Clinical trials are comparing virtual colonoscopy with commonly used colon and rectal cancer screening tests.
DNA Stool Test
A DNA stool test checks DNA in stool cells for genetic changes that may be a sign of rectal cancer.