“Lost” trial prompts bowel cancer surgery rethink

A trial that remained unpublished for more than 20 years casts doubt on the survival benefit of the surgical removal of recurrent colorectal cancer.

Finally published last week in BMJ Open, the trial was carried out between 1982 and 1993 then languished when the research team broke up and the data was thought to be lost.

It was rediscovered as part of the RIAT initiative that allows third parties to publish old, abandoned trials that for whatever reason never made it to print.

The trial itself involved nearly 1500 patients who