American Cancer Society blesses virtual colonoscopy for screening

March 7, 2008
Shalmali Pal

The American Cancer Society has added CT colonography to its approved list of colon cancer screening methods. Released this week, the new guidelines designate virtual colonoscopy as a “preferred” test that “finds polyps and cancer” and should be performed every five years.

The American Cancer Society has added CT colonography to its approved list of colon cancer screening methods. Released this week, the new guidelines designate virtual colonoscopy as a "preferred" test that "finds polyps and cancer" and should be performed every five years.

Other tests, such as fecal occult blood testing, are described as less likely to pinpoint polyps. This is the first time the ACS has favored one specific type of test over another, according to Dr. Durado Brooks, director of prostate and colorectal cancer for the ACS.

The new listing is the second boost that CTC has received in the last few months. In late 2007, outcomes from the ACRIN 6664 trial deemed CTC comparable to standard colonoscopy for screening intermediate and large-sized polyps. In the trial, the prevalence of lesions at 6 mm or larger came in at a low 8.3%. As a result, most patients who undergo CTC would not also require therapeutic colonoscopy, according to the ACRIN trial leaders.

Virtual colonoscopy's inclusion in the ACS guidelines should be a major boon in the reimbursement arena for the modality

For more information from the Diagnostic Imaging archives:

CTC pushes for rightful place in colorectal cancer screening

Philips' filet irons kinks out of virtual colonoscopy

European trial data bolster argument for CT colonography

Virtual colonoscopy performs well in large new study

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