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Liver resection surgery compared with thermal ablation in high surgical risk patients with colorectal liver metastases: the LAVA international RCT

Davidson, B; Gurusamy, K; Corrigan, N; Croft, J; Ruddock, S; Pullan, A; Brown, J; ... de Wilt, JH; + view all (2020) Liver resection surgery compared with thermal ablation in high surgical risk patients with colorectal liver metastases: the LAVA international RCT. Health Technology Assessment , 24 (21) 10.3310/hta24210. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although surgical resection has been considered the only curative option for colorectal liver metastases, thermal ablation has recently been suggested as an alternative curative treatment. There have been no adequately powered trials comparing surgery with thermal ablation. OBJECTIVES: Main objective - to compare the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of thermal ablation versus liver resection surgery in high surgical risk patients who would be eligible for liver resection. Pilot study objectives - to assess the feasibility of recruitment (through qualitative study), to assess the quality of ablations and liver resection surgery to determine acceptable standards for the main trial and to centrally review the reporting of computed tomography scan findings relating to ablation and outcomes and recurrence rate in both arms. DESIGN: A prospective, international (UK and the Netherlands), multicentre, open, pragmatic, parallel-group, randomised controlled non-inferiority trial with a 1-year internal pilot study. SETTING: Tertiary liver, pancreatic and gallbladder (hepatopancreatobiliary) centres in the UK and the Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS: Adults with a specialist multidisciplinary team diagnosis of colorectal liver metastases who are at high surgical risk because of their age, comorbidities or tumour burden and who would be suitable for liver resection or thermal ablation. INTERVENTIONS: Thermal ablation conducted as per local policy (but centres were encouraged to recruit within Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe guidelines) versus surgical liver resection performed as per centre protocol. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pilot study - patients' and clinicians' acceptability of the trial to assist in optimisation of recruitment. Primary outcome - disease-free survival at 2 years post randomisation. Secondary outcomes - overall survival, timing and site of recurrence, additional therapy after treatment failure, quality of life, complications, length of hospital stay, costs, trial acceptability, and disease-free survival measured from end of intervention. It was planned that 5-year survival data would be documented through record linkage. Randomisation was performed by minimisation incorporating a random element, and this was a non-blinded study. RESULTS: In the pilot study over 1 year, a total of 366 patients with colorectal liver metastases were screened and 59 were considered eligible. Only nine participants were randomised. The trial was stopped early and none of the planned statistical analyses was performed. The key issues inhibiting recruitment included fewer than anticipated patients eligible for both treatments, misconceptions about the eligibility criteria for the trial, surgeons' preference for one of the treatments ('lack of clinical equipoise' among some of the surgeons in the centre) with unconscious bias towards surgery, patients' preference for one of the treatments, and lack of dedicated research nurses for the trial. CONCLUSIONS: Recruitment feasibility was not demonstrated during the pilot stage of the trial; therefore, the trial closed early. In future, comparisons involving two very different treatments may benefit from an initial feasibility study or a longer period of internal pilot study to resolve these difficulties. Sufficient time should be allowed to set up arrangements through National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Networks. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN52040363. FUNDING: This project was funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 24, No. 21. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.

Type: Article
Title: Liver resection surgery compared with thermal ablation in high surgical risk patients with colorectal liver metastases: the LAVA international RCT
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3310/hta24210
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3310/hta24210
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Oncology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Surgical Biotechnology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Applied Health Research
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097340
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