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Image: Elin Berge

Research group Martin Rutegård

Research group Our research group primarily studies surgical factors via register-based national surveys, but also through clinical studies including biological materials.

Rectal cancer affects over 2,000 people per year in Sweden, of which about 1,600 are operated on with the chance of a cure. Surgery for rectal cancer is often large and complication-prone, both in the short and long term. 

In a number of studies, we have evaluated so-called high ligature of arteria mesenterica inferior and effects of this on morbidity, cancer recurrence and survival. A known surgical complication is anastomosis leakage, the consequences of which for morbidity are an ongoing area of research. 

Also risk factors for the onset of leakage are investigated, including treatment with so-called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; furthermore, studies are conducted in operated patients where blood flow data from rectal mucosan and blood or drainage samples are collected in order to predict anastomosis leakage. 

Serum proteins' response to anastomosis leakage 

Using biological materials from the so-called U-CAN database, serum proteins' response to anastomosis leakage is investigated and whether this can be related to the risk of cancer recurrence. We will also investigate the presence of non-discontinued and permanent stomas after surgery for rectal cancer, with a particular focus on determining risk factors for the development of permanent stoma.

Finally, our group is involved in conducting a study of PET hybrid techniques in addition to conventional computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging to try to improve the preoperative radiological investigation of rectal cancer. 

Improve and refine surgical perioperative factors 

The research aims to improve and refine surgical perioperative factors in patients operated on for rectal cancer. The goal is to reduce morbidity, mortality and eventually reduce functional loss and improve cancer survival in this patient group. 

Head of research

Martin Rutegård
Physician, adjunct professor


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Diagnostics and Intervention

Research area

Cancer, Clinical medicine

External funding

Cancerforskningsfonden Norrland

External funding

Fellowship in Wales increases knowledge in pelvic surgery

Read about Martin Rutegård and how he describe the life in Wales, where he will spend a year on a fellowship.

Latest update: 2022-04-28