"We are finding that virtual colonoscopy screening actually identifies more unsuspected cancers outside of the colon than within it," said lead author Perry J. Pickhardt, M.D., professor of radiology and chief of GI Imaging, at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health. "As with asymptomatic colorectal cancers identified by virtual colonoscopy screening, these cancers are often detected at an early, curable stage."
Colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., and the National Cancer Institute estimated that there would be 146,970 new cases diagnosed in 2009 and 49,920 deaths. The disease is largely preventable through screening for colon polyps, which are benign growths that may develop into cancer if not removed. The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk for colorectal cancer begin regular colorectal cancer screening at age 50, but current compliance with this recommendation is below 50 percent. Many people resist screening because of the discomfort and inconvenience caused by the conventional optical colonoscopy test.
Virtual colonoscopy is less invasive than optical colonoscopy and produces precise and detailed "fly-through" images of the entire colon's interior without having to insert a scope. With virtual colonoscopy screening, there is essentially no risk of bleeding or of perforating the colon. There is no need for intravenous sedation, and the procedure is less costly than conventional optical colonoscopy. It also is more convenient, typically taking 10 minutes or less.
Virtual colonoscopy also allows for limited assessment of structures outside the colon (extracolonic), including the abdomen, pelvis and portions of the lungs. Additional diagnostic tests for unsuspected extracolonic findings are performed in about 6 percent of cases, nearly half of which ultimately prove to be clinically relevant.
"Optical colonoscopy cannot provide for any assessment beyond the colon itself, whereas virtual colonoscopy can detect a wide array of unsuspected extracolonic diseases, most notably cancers and aortic aneurysms," Dr. Pickhardt said.
For the study, Dr. Pickhardt and colleagues set out to determine the detection rate and clinical outcome of unsuspected malignancies detected with virtual colonoscopy in an asymptomatic screening population. The researchers retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 10,286 adults (5,388 men and 4,898 women) with a mean age of 59.8 years who were evaluated at either the University of Wisconsin or National Naval Medical Center. All of the adults had undergone colorectal cancer screening with virtual colonoscopy at the two centers between April 2004 and March 2008. The mean time for follow-up was 30.2 months.
Unsuspected cancer was confirmed in 58 patients, including 33 women and 25 men. Invasive colorectal cancer was found in 22 patients, and extracolonic cancer was found in 36 patients. Cancers in 31 patients (53.4 percent) were stage 1 or localized cancers.
"To our knowledge, none of the patients who presented with stage 1, stage 2 or localized disease at diagnosis has progressed to a higher stage," Dr. Pickhardt said. "The fact that so many of the cancers in our study were localized or detected at an early stage appears to have positively affected survival."
Extracolonic malignancies, which outnumbered cases of invasive colorectal cancer, included renal cell carcinoma, lung cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, among others.
"Although extracolonic evaluation at screening CT colonography does carry some disadvantages, such as patient anxiety, inconvenience, or the potential for benign biopsy, our results suggest that early detection of asymptomatic extracolonic cancer represents an additional benefit of screening CT colonography that is not available with optical colonoscopy," Dr. Pickhardt said.
"Virtual colonoscopy is an accurate, safe and convenient screening test that could potentially be a life-saving examination," he added.
"Colorectal and Extracolonic Cancers Detected at Screening CT Colonography in 10,286 Asymptomatic Adults." Collaborating on this paper with Dr. Pickhardt were David H. Kim, M.D., Ryan J. Meiners, M.D., Kimberly S. Wyatt, M.D., Meghan E. Hanson, M.D., Duncan S. Barlow, M.D., Priscilla A. Cullen, R.N., Rahim A. Remtulla, M.D., and Brooks D. Cash, M.D.
Disclosures: Drs. Pickhardt and Kim have consulted for Viatronix and Medicsight and are co-founders of VirtuoCTC. Dr. Pickhardt has also consulted for Covidien and Philips.
Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (http://radiology.rsnajnls.org/)
RSNA is an association of more than 44,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. (RSNA.org)
For patient-friendly information on virtual colonoscopy, visit RadiologyInfo.org.
UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses
02.12.2016 | University of Texas at San Antonio
Earlier Alzheimer's diagnosis may be possible with new imaging compound
02.11.2016 | Washington University School of Medicine
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy