Largest study to date reveals baseline findings for flexible sigmoidoscopy

July 05, 2005

PITTSBURGH, July 5 -The largest study to date on the early detection of colorectal cancer offers benchmark data for what could be expected from large-scale use of flexible sigmoidoscopy as a screening tool for colorectal cancer. The report, published in the July 6 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), is part of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial, a randomized, community-based longitudinal study evaluating the effectiveness of cancer screening tests on site-specific mortality.

"In our opinion, we now have published important and valuable baseline data on the use of flexible sigmoidoscopy within a large and randomized group of participants," said Joel Weissfeld, M.D., M.P.H, lead author of the study and associate professor of epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. "The findings reveal trends and patterns by gender and age that one may expect to see in a flexible sigmoidoscopy intervention targeting the general U.S. population," added Dr. Weissfeld, who also is co-leader of the cancer epidemiology, prevention and control program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

During flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSG), a doctor uses a lighted scope to examine the inside of the large intestine from the rectum through the descending colon, where most colon polyps develop.

The study enrolled 154,942 men and women 55 to 74 years of age who had no prior history of prostate, lung, colorectal or ovarian cancers from November 1993 to July 2001. Study participants were randomly assigned to either a control group that did not receive FSG or to an intervention group that received FSG. Of those assigned to the intervention group, 83.5 percent (64,658) agreed to undergo an initial FSG examination. Among the individuals who underwent screening, 23.4 percent (15,150) had at least one polyp or mass and 74.2 percent of these individuals received follow-up lower endoscopic procedures. Findings also indicated that women were more likely to decline FSG than men, 19.2 percent and 13.8 percent respectively, and that non-acceptance of FSG increased with age among women, but not among men. The rate of cancer detected was 2.9 per 1,000 individuals screened.

"These data are important because they create a U.S. benchmark to which other studies can be compared," said Robert E. Schoen, M.D., M.P.H., study co-author and associate professor of medicine and epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "Of note is that a high percentage of study participants were willing to undergo flexible sigmoidoscopy, perhaps reflecting a growing acceptance of screening for colorectal cancer."

Colorectal cancer is a worldwide public health problem. In the United States, colorectal cancer accounts for 11 percent of all cancers, with 145,290 new cases and 56,290 deaths expected in 2005. For patients with advanced disease, five-year survival rates are 10 to 20 percent. When colorectal cancer is diagnosed at an early, localized stage, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent.
-end-
Co-authors of the study include Robert S. Bresalier, M.D., M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Timothy Church, Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Susan Yurgalevitch, Westat Inc, Rockville, Md.; Joseph H. Austin, Information Management Services, Rockville, Md.; Paul F. Pinsky, Ph.D., Philip C. Prorok, Ph.D., and John K. Gohagan, Ph.D., National Cancer Institute. CONTACT:
Clare Collins, CollCX@upmc.edu
Michele Baum, BaumMD@upmc.edu
PHONE: 412-647-3555
FAX: 412-624-3184

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Related Colorectal Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Colorectal cancer treatment: the winning combinations
Chemotherapy has distressing side effects for patients and increases the risk of developing resistance to the treatment.

A new model to predict survival in colorectal cancer
This signature could be useful in clinical practice, especially for colorectal cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Roadmap to reducing colorectal cancer deaths
The American Gastroenterological Association has outlined a strategy to increase the number of people screened via tests that are more convenient, accurate and less expensive and tailored to people's individual cancer risks.

Study provides new insight on colorectal cancer growth
A new study by researchers at the University of Kentucky identifies a novel function of the enzyme spermine synthase to facilitate colorectal cancer growth.

Researchers ID target for colorectal cancer immunotherapy
Researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a target for colorectal cancer immunotherapy.

Colorectal cancer partner-in-crime identified
A protein that helps colorectal cancer cells spread to other parts of the body could be an effective treatment target.

Cancer cell reversion may offer a new approach to colorectal cancer treatment
A novel approach to reverse the progression of healthy cells to malignant ones may offer a more effective way to eradicate colorectal cancer cells with far fewer side effects, according to a KAIST research team based in South Korea.

A novel pathway to target colorectal cancer
Survival rates for patients with late-stage colorectal cancer are dismal, and new therapeutic strategies are needed to improve outcomes.

Colorectal cancer rates in Canada
The incidence of colorectal cancer among younger adults increased in recent years in this analysis of data from Canadian national cancer registries that included about 688,000 new colorectal cancers diagnosed over more than 40 years.

Cancer drugs promote stem cell properties of colorectal cancer
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and the Mannheim University Medical Center have now discovered that a certain group of cancer drugs (MEK Inhibitors) activates the cancer-promoting Wnt signalling pathway in colorectal cancer cells.

Read More: Colorectal Cancer News and Colorectal Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.