Intense surveillance post-CRC treatment doesn't improve outcomes — 3 study insights

A study published in JAMA found no correlation between intense colorectal cancer surveillance and increased detection or survival rates, Clinical Oncology News reports.

Researchers analyzed 8,529 patients with varying stages of CRC from 1,175 facilities. Patients underwent surgical resection between 2006 and 2007, and surveillance imaging and carcinoembryonic antigen biomarking testing within three years postsurgery.

Here's what they found:

1. High-intensity facility patients underwent 2.9 imaging scans and 4.3 CEA tests on average in the first three years after surgery. Low-intensity facility patients underwent 1.6 imaging scans and 1.6 CEA tests on average.

2. In high-intensity facilities, the median time to recurrence detection was 15.1 months for imaging and 15 months for CEA; at low-intensity facilities, the median time for recurrence was 16 months for imaging and 15.3 months for CEA testing.

3. Researchers found no difference between the two groups in cancer recurrence or survival.

New York City-based Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Andrea Cercek, MD, said, "We've suspected from other studies that there may not be a significant association between the intensity of the surveillance and the detection of recurrence, and more importantly, an improvement in patient outcomes, specifically survival."

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