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Fecal occult blood testing effective in colonoscopy screenings
Date:11/9/2011

Fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) is more effective in its health benefits at the same or lower costs compared to guaiac fecal occult blood testing (gFOBT) at all levels of colonoscopy capacity, according to a study published November 9 by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

In many countries, wait times for colonoscopy screenings can take up to 12 weeks. Screening with gFOBT has been proven to reduce mortality from colorectal cancer (CRC); however, the effectiveness of the screening depends partly on attendance at all screening rounds and on diagnostic yield (the proportion of individuals found with adenomas or CRC). FIT may increase attendance and diagnostic yield compared to gFOBT, and may cause fewer false positive tests. Because of these advantages, FIT is of increasing interest in the field.

To determine the benefits of FIT compared with gFOBT, Janneke A. Wilschut, MSc, of the department of public health at the University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues used the MISCAN-Colon micro-simulation model, which simulates the relevant biographies of a large population from birth to death both without screening, as well as with changes that would occur in screening programs. The researchers estimated the number of colonoscopies, costs, and health effects of different screening strategies using both gFOBT and FIT, various age ranges and multiple surveillance strategies.

The model predicts that FIT is both cost-effective and clinically beneficial for detecting CRC. They found that for a screening scenario for people ages 45 to 80 years in which there is unlimited colonoscopy capacity, screening intensively with the lowest FIT cutoff level for referral to colonoscopy (50 ng hemoglobin per mL) provided optimal health benefits for cost. For a scenario with limited colonoscopy capacity, FIT with a higher cutoff level performed better than gFOBT and was more effective if the colonoscopy
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Contact: Zack Rathner
Zachary.Rathner@oup.com
301-841-1286
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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