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Lankenau Medical Center certified as first external site in nation to test promising new surgical treatment for rectal cancer

Lankenau Medical Center January 30, 2018 Research News

Lankenau Medical Center, part of Main Line Health, was certified as the first external site in the United States to initiate a new clinical trial to test a novel approach to rectal cancer surgery. Transanal Total Mesorectal Excision (taTME) uses a so-called “bottom-up approach” in which dissection of the affected tissues is done transanally rather than through the abdomen.

Each year, 40,000 people are diagnosed with rectal cancer in the U.S. Although chemotherapy and radiation play an important role in the treatment of advanced rectal cancer, surgery remains essential to disease management. While taTME has been performed by surgeons since 2009, results have been limited to case studies and one international registry. The purpose of this clinical trial is to discover whether taTME is effective compared to the standard laparoscopic robotic technique.

The study is based on the TATA procedure that was developed and first performed by the team of John H Marks, MD, chief of colorectal surgery and director of minimally invasive colorectal surgery and rectal cancer management fellowship program at Main Line Health. Dr. Marks will serve as Main Line Health’s principal investigator for the study.

“We are honored to be named the first external site for this important multi-center treatment study for patients battling rectal cancer,” said Dr. Marks, who also serves as a clinical professor at the Lankenau Institute of Medical Research (LIMR), part of Main Line Health. “It is gratifying to be involved in this study that aims to validate across the country many of our groundbreaking contributions to rectal cancer management. These types of endeavors help solidify Lankenau’s position as a leader in the country in the care of patients with rectal cancer, as well as a world leader in minimally invasive surgery.”

The taTME procedure combines standard laparoscopy, or multiple small abdominal incisions, with surgery through the anus to remove cancerous tissue of the rectum. An alternative to standard abdominal surgery, taTME overcomes many challenges related to deep pelvic surgeries. The clinical trial seeks to validate the safety and efficacy of taTME with respect to the quality of the resection achieved, as well as perioperative, oncologic and functional outcomes.

This national study (clinicaltrials.gov #NCT03144765) is being led by a physician at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City, and is being funded in part by a grant from the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Research Foundation. The sponsor is the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons through grant support from Medtronic, Karl Storz, Richard Wolf, Intuitive, Applied Medical, Conmed, Olympus, Novadaq, Ethicon, and Stryker.

Patients with resectable rectal cancer who are eligible for sphincter preservation and who are interested in participating in this five-year, phase II clinical trial should contact their physician to learn more. They can also visit the National Institutes of Health taTME trial page, or call Elene Turzo, manager of clinical cancer research at LIMR, 484.476.2649, or [email protected].

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health's commitment—to deliver advanced medicine for treating and curing disease, playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to be the region's premier choice for clinical care, research, and education. A team of more than 10,000 employees, 3,000 nurses and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health System.

At Main Line Health's core are four of the region's most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation's premier facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

Main Line Health also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton, King of Prussia and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare, one of the region's largest multispecialty physician networks.

Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care, and service, including U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, System Magnet® designation; the nation's highest distinction for nursing excellence and the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect, equity, and inclusion, has proudly received awards in this area and has embraced the American Hospital Association's #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education, and research to help patients stay healthy and live their best lives.

For more information, visit mainlinehealth.org and connect with us on social media:

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About Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is a nonprofit biomedical research institute located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center and is part of Main Line Health. Founded in 1927, LIMR’s mission is to improve human health and well-being. Faculty and staff are devoted to advancing innovative new approaches to formidable medical challenges, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders and autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis. LIMR’s principal investigators conduct basic, preclinical and translational research, using their findings to explore ways to improve disease detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. They are committed to extending the boundaries of human health through technology transfer and training of the next generation of scientists and physicians.