Research Papers:

Expected long-term impact of screening endoscopy on colorectal cancer incidence: a modelling study

Hermann Brenner _, Jens Kretschmann, Christian Stock and Michael Hoffmeister

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:48168-48179. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10178

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Hermann Brenner1,2,3, Jens Kretschmann4, Christian Stock5, Michael Hoffmeister1

1Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany

2Division of Preventive Oncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), Heidelberg, Germany

3German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany

4Central Research Institute of Ambulatory Health Care in Germany, Berlin, Germany

5Institute of Medical Biometry and Informatics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

Correspondence to:

Hermann Brenner, email: [email protected]

Keywords: cohort studies, colorectal cancer, screening, trials

Received: May 07, 2016    Accepted: June 03, 2016    Published: June 20, 2016


BACKGROUND & AIMS: Screening endoscopy reduces colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence but the time course and magnitude of effects beyond 10 years after screening are unknown. We aimed to estimate the expected time course and magnitude of long-term impact of screening endoscopy on CRC incidence.

METHODS: We used Markov models based on the natural history of the disease along with data from the German national screening colonoscopy registry to derive the expected impact of screening colonoscopy at age 55 or 60 on cumulative CRC incidence according to time of follow-up over a period of up to 25 years.

RESULTS: After a single screening colonoscopy, cumulative CRC incidence is expected to be increased for approximately 4 to 5 years. This transient increase is expected to be followed by a steadily increasing reduction in cumulative CRC incidence for at least 25 years. Less than one third of this long-term reduction is expected to be seen within 10-12 years of follow-up, the length of follow-up reported on in RCTs on flexible sigmoidoscopy screening and in most cohort studies on both sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy screening. In relative terms, risk reduction is expected to reach its maximum approximately 15 years after a single screening colonoscopy and 20-25 years after the initial screening colonoscopy in case of repeat screening colonoscopy after 10 years.

CONCLUSIONS: The long-term impact of screening endoscopy on CRC prevention is expected to be much stronger than suggested by currently available evidence from RCTs and cohort studies with limited length of follow-up.

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