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1.
BMJ Open ; 12(4): e059940, 2022 Apr 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788968

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We sought to investigate if duplicate faecal immunochemical testing (FIT) sampling improves the negative and positive predictive value of patients thought to be at risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Specifically, we aimed to investigate whether the proportion of FIT-negative CRC missed by a single FIT test in symptomatic patients could be reduced by duplicate FIT testing. DESIGN: A retrospective service evaluation cohort study of the diagnostic accuracy of duplicate FIT testing. SETTING: Patients referred from primary care with suspected CRC to four secondary care trusts in North-West England. PARTICIPANTS: 28 622 patients over 18-years-old with lower gastrointestinal symptoms suggestive of CRC who completed two FIT samples. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: The performance of duplicate FIT for detecting CRC at a threshold of 10 µgHb/g. RESULTS: The sensitivity if either test was >10 µgHb/g was 0.978 (0.955-0.989), specificity was 0.662 (0.657-0.668), positive predictive value 0.031 (0.028-0.035) and negative predictive value 1.00 (0.999-1.00). Despite two-thirds of patients (18952) being negative following two tests, at this threshold only seven CRC were missed over a 26-month period. All seven patients had other high-risk features which should have prompted investigation. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that in routine NHS practice, a duplicate FIT sample strategy together with clinical evaluation for evidence of anaemia and weight loss is superior to a single FIT sample alone and would allow symptomatic patients to be managed in primary care without the need for urgent referral to secondary care for urgent colonic imaging.


Subject(s)
Colorectal Neoplasms , Early Detection of Cancer , Adolescent , Cohort Studies , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer/methods , England , Feces/chemistry , Hemoglobins/analysis , Humans , Occult Blood , Retrospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
Gut ; 71(5): 950-960, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784858

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Implementation of faecal immunochemical tests (FIT) as a triage test in primary healthcare may improve the efficiency of referrals without missing cases of colorectal cancer (CRC). We aim to summarise the performance characteristics of FITs for CRC in symptomatic patients presenting to primary healthcare. DESIGN: We performed a systematic literature review of Medline and EMBASE databases from May 2018 to November 2020. Previous related systematic searches were also adapted to this aim and completed with reference screening. We identified studies performed on adult patients consulting for abdominal symptoms in primary care which reported data such that the FIT diagnostic performance parameters for CRC could be obtained. Bivariate models were used to synthesise available evidence. Meta-regression analysis was performed to evaluate the causes of heterogeneity. RESULTS: Twenty-three studies (69 536 participants) were included (CRC prevalence 0.3%-6.2%). Six studies (n=34 691) assessed FIT as rule in test (threshold of ≥150 µg Hb/g faeces) showing a sensitivity of 64.1% (95% CI 57.8% to 69.9%) and a specificity of 95.0% (95% CI 91.2% to 97.2%). A threshold of 10 µg/g (15 studies; n=48 872) resulted in a sensitivity of 87.2% (95% CI 81.0% to 91.6%) and a specificity of 84.4% (95% CI 79.4% to 88.3%) for CRC. At a 20 µg Hb/g faeces threshold (five studies; n=24 187) less than one additional CRC would be missed per 1000 patients investigated compared with 10 µg Hb/g faeces threshold (CRC prevalence 2%). CONCLUSION: FIT is the test of choice to evaluate patients with new-onset lower gastrointestinal symptoms in primary healthcare.


Subject(s)
Colorectal Neoplasms , Early Detection of Cancer , Adult , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer/methods , Feces/chemistry , Hemoglobins/analysis , Humans , Occult Blood , Primary Health Care/methods , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
Clin Chim Acta ; 524: 123-131, 2022 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599659

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common malignancy worldwide, with the second highest mortality rate among all malignancies. In this review, we describe the current utility of stool diagnostic biomarkers for CRC. METHODS: We reviewed stool-related tests and biomarker candidates for the diagnosis of CRC. The guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), fecal immunochemical test (FIT), and multitarget stool DNA test (MT-sDNA) have been used as clinical CRC screening tools. Although microRNAs, protein biomarkers, and microbiota have not yet been used in clinical CRC screening, there is growing evidence that they have the potential to function as CRC screening tools. RESULTS: According to the literature, the sensitivity of MT-sDNA for detecting CRC was 87.0-100%, 32.7-82.0% for advanced adenomas, and the specificity was 86.1-95.2%. The sensitivity of individual biomarkers of fecal microRNAs for detecting CRC was 34.2-88.2%, 73.0% for advanced adenomas, and the specificity was 68-100%. The sensitivity of fecal protein markers for detecting CRC was 63.6-93.0%, 47.7-69.4% for advanced adenomas, and the specificity was 38.3-97.5%. The sensitivity of fecal microbiota for detecting CRC was 54.0-100.0%, 32.0-48.3% for advanced adenomas, and the specificity was 61.3-90.0%. CONCLUSION: MT-sDNA is the most sensitive CRC screening test, and its sensitivity is the highest for advanced adenomas; however, its detection cost is high. MT-sDNA was more sensitive to CRC and advanced precancerous lesions than FIT, but compared to three years of MT-sDNA, annual FIT as the first non-invasive screening test for CRC seemed to be more effective.


Subject(s)
Colorectal Neoplasms , Occult Blood , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans
4.
Prev Med ; 155: 106929, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586233

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the suspension at all levels of the Catalan FIT-based CRC screening program on March 12, 2020. Screening invitations to FIT were resumed on September 1, 2020. We aimed to assess the short-term impact of the pandemic and describe strategies implemented to minimize harm by the disruption of the FIT-based CRC screening in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. We analyzed participation rate, colonoscopy adherence, time intervals to colonoscopy, detection rates, and advanced-stage cancers in 2019 and 2020. To identify perceived distress levels during the suspension of the screening we conducted a phone interview. As a result of the suspension, 43% of the individuals due for screening did not receive their invitation by December 31, 2020. A percent decrease of 5.1% in participation and of 8.9% in colonoscopy adherence among invitees between January-March was observed, with a recovery to 2019 levels when the screening activities were restarted. The time interval between a positive test to colonoscopy was longer in 2020 than in 2019. A decrease in advanced neoplasia rate and an increase in later stages of CRC were also observed. Individuals with a positive test did not report higher levels of perceived distress compared to those with a negative test. Although the disruption of screening had a temporary impact on participation and colonoscopy adherence, timing delay continues and a large backlog in the invitation of the target population remains. Thus, it is critical to implement strategies to minimize the long-term effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/prevention & control , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans , Mass Screening , Occult Blood , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology
6.
World J Gastroenterol ; 27(38): 6415-6429, 2021 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472443

ABSTRACT

Faecal immunochemical tests (FITs) are the most widely colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnostic biomarker available. Many population screening programmes are based on this biomarker, with the goal of reducing CRC mortality. Moreover, in recent years, a large amount of evidence has been produced on the use of FIT to detect CRC in patients with abdominal symptoms in primary healthcare as well as in surveillance after adenoma resection. The aim of this review is to highlight the available evidence on these two topics. We will summarize the evidence on diagnostic yield in symptomatic patients with CRC and significant colonic lesion and the different options to use this (thresholds, brands, number of determinations, prediction models and combinations). We will include recommendations on FIT strategies in primary healthcare proposed by regulatory bodies and scientific societies and their potential effects on healthcare resources and CRC prognosis. Finally, we will show information regarding FIT-based surveillance as an alternative to endoscopic surveillance after high-risk polyp resection. To conclude, due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, FIT-based strategies have become extremely relevant since they enable a reduction of colonoscopy demand and access to the healthcare system by selecting individuals with the highest risk of CRC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Early Detection of Cancer , Feces/chemistry , Hemoglobins/analysis , Humans , Mass Screening , Occult Blood , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
8.
BJS Open ; 5(4)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1297380

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has brought an unprecedented challenge to healthcare services. The authors' COVID-adapted pathway for suspected bowel cancer combines two quantitative faecal immunochemical tests (qFITs) with a standard CT scan with oral preparation (CT mini-prep). The aim of this study was to estimate the degree of risk mitigation and residual risk of undiagnosed colorectal cancer. METHOD: Decision-tree models were developed using a combination of data from the COVID-adapted pathway (April-May 2020), a local audit of qFIT for symptomatic patients performed since 2018, relevant data (prevalence of colorectal cancer and sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic tools) obtained from literature and a local cancer data set, and expert opinion for any missing data. The considered diagnostic scenarios included: single qFIT; two qFITs; single qFIT and CT mini-prep; two qFITs and CT mini-prep (enriched pathway). These were compared to the standard diagnostic pathway (colonoscopy or CT virtual colonoscopy (CTVC)). RESULTS: The COVID-adapted pathway included 422 patients, whereas the audit of qFIT included more than 5000 patients. The risk of missing a colorectal cancer, if present, was estimated as high as 20.2 per cent with use of a single qFIT as a triage test. Using both a second qFIT and a CT mini-prep as add-on tests reduced the risk of missed cancer to 6.49 per cent. The trade-off was an increased rate of colonoscopy or CTVC, from 287 for a single qFIT to 418 for the double qFIT and CT mini-prep combination, per 1000 patients. CONCLUSION: Triage using qFIT alone could lead to a high rate of missed cancers. This may be reduced using CT mini-prep as an add-on test for triage to colonoscopy or CTVC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Diagnostic Errors/statistics & numerical data , Occult Blood , Triage/organization & administration , Clinical Audit , Colonoscopy , Decision Trees , Early Detection of Cancer/methods , Humans , Scotland , Sensitivity and Specificity , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
9.
Prev Med ; 151: 106643, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294331

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many healthcare services worldwide. Like many other nations, the Netherlands experienced large numbers of individuals affected by COVID-19 in 2020, leading to increased demands on hospitals and intensive care units. The Dutch Ministry of Health decided to suspend the Dutch biennial fecal immunochemical test (FIT) based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening program from March 16, 2020. FIT invitations were resumed on June 3. In this study, we describe the short-term effects of this suspension on a myriad of relevant screening outcomes. As a result of the suspension, a quarter of the individuals due for screening between March and November 2020 had not received their invitation for FIT screening by November 30, 2020. Furthermore, 57.8% of those who received a consecutive FIT between the restart and November 30, 2020, received it outside the upper limit of the standard screening interval (26 months). Median time between positive FIT and colonoscopy did not change as a result of the pandemic. Participation rates of FIT screening and follow-up colonoscopy in the months just before and during the suspension were significantly lower than expected, but returned to normal levels after the suspension. Based on the anticipated 2020 cohort size, we estimate that the number of individuals with advanced neoplasia currently detected up until November 2020 was 31.2% lower compared to what would have been expected without a pandemic. Future studies should monitor the impact on long-term screening outcomes as a result of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans , Mass Screening , Netherlands/epidemiology , Occult Blood , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Prev Med ; 151: 106597, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294326

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected regular public health interventions including population-based cancer screening. Impacts of such screening delays on the changes in structure and screening process and the resultant long-term outcomes are unknown. It is therefore necessary to develop a systematic framework to assess theses impacts related to these components of quality. Using population-based cancer screening with fecal immunochemical test (FIT) as an illustration, the main analysis was to assess how various scenarios of screening delays were associated with the capacity for primary screening and full time equivalent (FTE) for colonoscopy and impact long-term outcomes based on a Markov decision tree model on population level. The second analysis was to quantify how the extent of COVID-19 epidemic measured by social distancing index affected capacity and FTE that were translated to delays with an exponential relationship. COVID-19 epidemic led to 25%, 29%, 34%, and 39% statistically significantly incremental risks of late cancer for the delays of 0.5-year, 1-year,1.5-year, and 2-year, respectively compared with regular biennial FIT screening. The corresponding statistically findings of four delayed schedules for death from colorectal cancer (CRC) were 26%, 28%, 29%, and 30%, respectively. The higher social distancing index led to a lower capacity of uptake screening and a larger reduction of FTE, resulting in longer screening delay and longer waiting time, which further impacted long-term outcomes as above. In summary, a systematic modelling approach was developed for demonstrating the strong impact of screening delays caused by COVID-19 epidemic on long-term outcomes illustrated with a Taiwan population-based FIT screening of CRC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans , Mass Screening , Occult Blood , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Taiwan
12.
Prev Med ; 151: 106622, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246227

ABSTRACT

Colorectal cancer(CRC) is one of the most prevalent malignancies in the Asia-Pacific region, and many countries in this region have launched population CRC service screening. In this study, CRC screening key indicators, including the FIT(fecal immunochemical test) screening rate (or participation rate) and the rate of undergoing colonoscopy after positive FIT in 2019 and 2020, were surveyed in individual countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The impact of the pandemic on the effectiveness of CRC screening was simulated given different screening rates and colonoscopy rates and assuming the pandemic would persist or remain poorly controlled for a long period of time, using the empirical data from the Taiwanese program and the CRC natural history model. During the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the programs in this region were affected, but to different extents, which was largely influenced by the severity of the local pandemic. Most of the programs continued screening services in 2020, although a temporary pause occurred in some countries. The modeling study revealed that prolonged pauses of screening led to 6% lower effectiveness in reducing CRC mortality. Screening organizers should coordinate with health authorities to elaborate on addressing screening backlogs, setting priorities for screening, and applying modern technologies to overcome potential obstacles. Many novel approaches that were developed and applied during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the risk-stratified approach that takes into account personal CRC risk and the local epidemic status, as well as new digital technologies, are expected to play important roles in CRC screening in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Asia , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans , Mass Screening , Occult Blood , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Gut ; 70(6): 1006-1007, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219569
17.
Br J Nurs ; 30(7): 404-408, 2021 Apr 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1173065

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about an economic and healthcare crisis. This has resulted in delays in virtually all areas of patient care and has forced clinicians to review and adapt their processes, in order to ensure patients continue to have access to timely and effective services. In the author's local Trust, this manifested in altered protocols, developed in order to maintain patient and staff safety while conducting invasive and potentially virus-spreading investigations. A new (temporary) standard operating procedure was developed in conjunction with Cancer Alliance South West to introduce the quantitative faecal immunochemical test (qFIT) as an indicator for diagnostic testing after the majority of diagnostic services were suspended or drastically reduced. Patients would then have their investigation(s) deferred on the basis of a negative result (<10 mcg Hb/g). This cohort (n=120) were revisited once diagnostic services were resumed and referred for CT examination. Audits carried out on the data showed that nine cancers had been identified in the negative qFIT population (lung, prostate, breast, bladder, small bowel carcinoid, oesophageal and three occurrences of caecal carcinoma. This article provides an overview of the experiences and outcomes of a colorectal 2-week-wait service in response to this global pandemic and how this experience will shape the service in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Occult Blood , Referral and Consultation/organization & administration , Waiting Lists , Cohort Studies , Humans
19.
Colorectal Dis ; 23(7): 1639-1648, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119227

ABSTRACT

AIM: The dramatic curtailment of endoscopy and CT colonography capacity during the coronavirus pandemic has adversely impacted timely diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC). We describe a rapidly implemented COVID-adapted diagnostic pathway to mitigate risk and maximize cancer diagnosis in patients referred with symptoms of suspected CRC. METHOD: The 'COVID-adapted pathway' integrated multiple quantitative faecal immunochemical tests (qFIT) to enrich for significant colorectal disease with judicious use of CT with oral contrast to detect gross pathology. Patients reporting 'high-risk' symptoms were triaged to qFIT+CT and the remainder underwent an initial qFIT to inform subsequent investigation. Demographic and clinical data were prospectively collected. Outcomes comprised cancer detection frequency. RESULTS: Overall, 422 patients (median age 64 years, 220 women) were triaged using this pathway. Most (84.6%) were referred as 'urgent suspicious of cancer'. Of the 422 patients, 202 (47.9%) were triaged to CT and qFIT, 211 (50.0%) to qFIT only, eight (1.9%) to outpatient clinic and one to colonoscopy. Fifteen (3.6%) declined investigation and seven (1.7%) were deemed unfit. We detected 13 cancers (3.1%), similar to the mean cancer detection rate from all referrals in 2017-2019 (3.3%). Compared with the period 1 April-31 May in 2017-2019, we observed a 43% reduction in all primary care referrals (1071 referrals expected reducing to 609). CONCLUSION: This COVID-adapted pathway mitigated the adverse effects on diagnostic capacity and detected cancer at the expected rate within those referred. However, the overall reduction in the number of referrals was substantial. The described risk-mitigating measures could be a useful adjunct whilst standard diagnostic services remain constrained due to the ongoing pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Aged , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Occult Blood , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage
20.
Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 45(1): 9-17, 2022 Jan.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1111615

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has had a serious impact on the functioning of gastrointestinal endoscopy Units. The Asociación Española de Gastroenterología (AEG) and the Sociedad Española de Endoscopia Digestiva (SEED) have proposed the EPAGE guidelines for managing postponed colonoscopies. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the EPAGE guidelines as a management tool compared to the immunologic faecal occult blood test (iFOBT) and compared to risk score (RS) that combines age, sex and the iFOBT for the detection of colorectal cancer (CRC) and significant bowel disease (SBD). METHODS: A prospective, single-centre study enrolling 743 symptomatic patients referred for a diagnostic colonoscopy. Each order was classified according to the EPAGE guidelines as appropriate, indeterminate or inappropriate. Patients underwent an iFOBT and had their RS calculated. RESULTS: The iFOBT (p<0.001), but not the EPAGE guidelines (p = 0.742), was an independent predictive factor of risk of CRC. The ROC AUCs for the EPAGE guidelines, the iFOBT and the RS were 0.61 (95% CI 0.49-0.75), 0.95 (0.93-0.97) and 0.90 (0.87-0.93) for CRC, and 0.55 (0.49-0.61), 0.75 (0.69-0.813) and 0.78 (0.73-0.83) for SBD, respectively. The numbers of colonoscopies needed to detect a case of CRC and a case of SBD were 38 and seven for the EPAGE guidelines, seven and two for the iFOBT, and 19 and four for a RS ≥5 points, respectively. CONCLUSION: The EPAGE guidelines, unlike the iFOBT, is not suitable for screening candidate patients for a diagnostic colonoscopy to detect CRC. The iFOBT, in combination with age and sex, is the most suitable strategy for managing demand for endoscopy in a restricted-access situation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Colonoscopy/standards , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Occult Blood , Pandemics , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Analysis of Variance , COVID-19/prevention & control , Colonoscopy/statistics & numerical data , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal/standards , Female , Gastroenterology/standards , Humans , Intestinal Diseases/diagnosis , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , Sex Factors , Societies, Medical
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