Surgery is the most effective method for treating colorectal cancer but 25% of patients develop recurrent disease within 5 years of surgery. Natural Killer (NK) cells play an important role in reducing metastatic burden but their function is suppressed over the perioperative period due to stress, pain, opioid consumption, the types of anaesthesia used during surgery and the surgery itself.

Lignocaine is an inexpensive and well-known local anaesthetic which can be effective when administered intravenously during the perioperative period. Lignocaine has known opiate sparing effects and suspected anti-inflammatory effects. In vitro studies of therapeutically relevant concentrations of lignocaine have been shown to improve NK cell function.

LICPIC aims to compare the perioperative NK cell number and function of patients receiving either intraoperative lignocaine infusion or placebo in patients undergoing laparoscopic colon surgery for colonic neoplasia.

Study Chair

Prof Stephen Smith
John Hunter Hospital

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