Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virtual Colonoscopy Shows Significant Promise As Colorectal Cancer Screening Option

Date:
December 3, 2004
Source:
American Gastroenterological Association
Summary:
A future trends report published recently in the American Gastroenterological Association's journal Gastroenterology, concluded that CT colonography (often referred to as "virtual colonoscopy") has significant promise. However, the technology is still evolving and the results of CT colonography for screening are variable.

Bethesda, Maryland (Dec. 1, 2004) – A future trends report published recently in the American Gastroenterological Association's journal Gastroenterology, concluded that CT colonography (often referred to as "virtual colonoscopy") has significant promise. However, the technology is still evolving and the results of CT colonography for screening are variable.

Related Articles


Guidelines of multiple agencies and professional societies underscore the importance of screening for all individuals 50 years of age and older. Currently, there are a number of tests that may be used to screen for colorectal cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Approved tests include barium enema, fecal occult blood test, flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. Each screening option has advantages and disadvantages.

"No colorectal cancer screening test is perfect. CT colonography is currently not the most accurate or convenient test, but may in the future be included in the mix of colorectal cancer screening options available to patients and physicians," says AGA President Emmet B. Keeffe, MD. "While the virtual aspect of the test sounds appealing, it isn't a panacea. CT colonography is associated with discomfort and still requires rigorous preparation, often the most daunting challenge to compliance. Many practical issues still need to be addressed, including standardization of test performance, patient preparation and interpretation of test results before CT colonography can be recommended for routine clinical practice. The shortage of radiologists in the country confounds the issue of training a sufficient supply of physicians able to deliver care to patients on a widespread and consistent basis."

As a service to AGA members and their patients, the AGA assembled a task force of gastroenterologists, radiologists and epidemiologists to undertake a critical analysis of available information on the capabilities of CT colonography and to consider its potential role in colorectal cancer screening. The task force reviewed the results of recent clinical trials and quantitative mathematical models pertaining to CT colonography. Limitations in the evaluation of CT colonography included variation in results of clinical trials and limited data on its use in routine clinical practice.

One limitation of CT colonography is that the test cannot consistently detect flat polyps or those smaller than one centimeter. The clinical importance of these types of polyps remains largely uncertain but given that a small number might harbor malignancy, most clinicians advise their removal. Thus a significant proportion of patients undergoing CT colonography might need a second procedure if it is necessary to remove all small growths. Fundamental questions currently without answers based in clinical outcomes studies include:

* Is there a minimum polyp size detectable by CT colonography for which patients should be referred for polyp removal? * What is the minimum-sized lesion by which CT colonography sensitivity should be judged? * What polyp size, if any, would physicians and more importantly their patients, allow to remain in place and undergo surveillance rather than immediate removal? * How will CT colongraphy screening followed by colonoscopy for patients with polyps impact patient compliance and health-system costs?

One of the largest barriers to patient compliance for colorectal cancer screening is the bowel cleansing preparation required prior to the test. Patients must undergo similar bowel preparation for CT colonography as they do for traditional colonoscopy. However, progress is being made in the development of a minimal prep or prep-less CT colonography examination. Improvements in CT colonography stool tagging to "electronically cleanse" the colon are not yet available for clinical use.

Because CT colonography is a new technology, it is not yet widely available or covered by health insurers. There is also need for a larger pool of physicians to perform CT colonography and interpret results of the test. Standardization test performance and results interpretation are necessary. The AGA intends to help its members in practice and training understand the strengths and weaknesses of CT colonography and have the option to use this technology. This will necessitate a comprehensive approach to training and curriculum development, as well as the practical issues relevant to incorporating CT colonography into practice.

"Patients should not put off screening for colorectal cancer and polyps. Adults age 50 and older should talk with their physician about the screening tests currently available to them," says Dr. Keeffe.

###

Citation: Van Dam J, Cotton P, Johnson CD, McFarland B, Pineau BC, Provenzale D, Ransohoff D, et al. AGA Future Trends Report: CT Colonography. Gastroenterology 2004: 127(3): 970-986

About the AGA

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) is dedicated to the mission of advancing the science and practice of gastroenterology. Founded in 1897, the AGA is the oldest medical-specialty society in the United States. The AGA's 14,000 members include physicians and scientists who research, diagnose and treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. On a monthly basis, the AGA publishes two highly respected journals, Gastroenterology and Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The AGA's annual meeting is Digestive Disease Week, which is held each May and is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

About Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology, the official journal of the AGA, is the most prominent journal in the subspecialty and is in the top one percent of indexed medical journals internationally. The journal publishes clinical and basic studies of all aspects of the digestive system, including the liver and pancreas, as well as nutrition. The journal is abstracted and indexed in Biological Abstracts, CABS, Chemical Abstracts, Current Contents, Excerpta Medica, Index Medicus, Nutrition Abstracts and Science Citation Index.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Gastroenterological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Gastroenterological Association. "Virtual Colonoscopy Shows Significant Promise As Colorectal Cancer Screening Option." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041201145350.htm>.
American Gastroenterological Association. (2004, December 3). Virtual Colonoscopy Shows Significant Promise As Colorectal Cancer Screening Option. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041201145350.htm
American Gastroenterological Association. "Virtual Colonoscopy Shows Significant Promise As Colorectal Cancer Screening Option." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041201145350.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins