Research Study for Advanced or Metastatic Rectal Cancer


Name of Study: DCE-MRI PET Bevacizumab Study in Rectal Cancer: A phase II/pharmacodynamic study of preoperative or definitive FOLFOX plus bevacizumab, with the additional pharmacodynamic goal of assessing tumor blood flow as measured by dynamic contrast enhanced MRI, and the induction of hypoxia and apoptosis as measured by PET in patients with rectal cancer

Who is eligible?

  • Patients with advanced or metastatic rectal cancer.
  • If previously treated with chemotherapy after surgery (adjuvant therapy), must be at least 6 months since last dose of chemotherapy.
  • Cannot have previously received bevacizumab (Avastin).

How this study is different from other standard therapy for rectal cancer

Rectal cancer is treated with chemoradiation (combination of chemotherapy and radiation) prior to surgery, if possible. The purpose of this is to attack cells that might have already escaped the tumor, and to shrink the tumor to make surgery possible or more successful.

We know that adding bevacizumab (Avastin) after surgery doesn’t add much benefit. But there is increasing evidence that adding bevacizumab early – before surgery - may be a useful strategy. This trial will examine the effects of bevacizumab with chemotherapy and radiotherapy to improve long term results from this treatment.

About this study

Patients already deemed candidates for surgery:

  • Receive standard chemotherapy plus bevacizumab.
  • Receive standard chemo-radiation.
  • Receive surgery 4-10 weeks after completing above.
  • Will undergo scans to see if blood and oxygen supplies to tumors have been disrupted.

Patients with advanced disease who are not considered candidates for surgery:

  • Receive standard chemotherapy plus bevacizumab.
  • May go on to receive chemo-radiation and/or surgery, at discretion of treating physician.
  • Will undergo scans to see if blood and oxygen supplies to tumors have been disrupted.

For more information about this trial

  • Visit clinicaltrials.gov
  • For study related questions, call Kathi Harlacker, RN Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator (215) 662-7730
  • To make an appointment with a Penn Medical Oncologist who can tell you about this and other trials, as well as treatment for rectal cancer call 1 800 789 PENN.