This episode is the first in a series featuring former CGA-IGC research grant recipients.Features Dr. Allison Burton-Chase, MD from the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Dr. Burton-Chase was the first recipient of the CGA-IGC research grant in 2014 for her work entitled “Factors Impacting the Decision of an Individual with Lynch Syndrome to Terminate a Health Care Provider Relationship”.
The majority of patients who terminated their patient-provider relationships did so due to negative interactions, such as the provider having a lack of Lynch syndrome-specific knowledge or not being open to improving their knowledge on Lynch syndrome.
Recently, the cases of colorectal cancers has been rising in younger age (<50) individuals. Although current guidelines recommend colorectal cancer screening should be initiated at age 45 instead of 50, the optimal approach of colorectal cancer screening is not clear.
This article investigates the efficacy of fecal immunochemical test (FIT), which detects occult blood in stool, in predicting advanced colorectal polyps and tumors among people aged 40–49.
The findings suggest FIT is useful to identify such people with high risk to have advanced colorectal lesions. Hence, FIT may be considered as the first-line screening tool for these people, and further comparative study between FIT and colonoscopy will be of great value.
The detection rate of ACRN(advanced) and CRC based on FITs in individuals aged 40–49 years is acceptable, and the yield of ACRN might be similar between individuals aged 45–49 and 50–59 years. Further comparative and cost-effective analysis of colonoscopies is mandatory to guide its use in EOCRC screening.
“Being proactive with my daily health has been important throughout my Lynch journey. Taking control of my health by exercising, maintaining my weight and eating well is essential and helps me feel like I can control some aspects of my life. “
“Living with Lynch syndrome can be challenging, but prioritising self-care, seeking professional support, connecting with others, and practicing mindfulness and stress reduction techniques have helped me manage the emotional impact of this condition.”
A new guideline around faecal immunochemical testing (FIT) in patients with signs or symptoms of suspected colorectal cancer (CRC). NHS England has subsequently written to all GP practices in England recommending they implement this guideline ‘in full’.
Symptoms alone have a poor sensitivity for CRC, meaning a high volume of secondary care investigations are required to detect cases if symptom-based criteria alone guide referrals. Endoscopy services in the UK have been struggling to keep up with referral demands, and waiting times for a colonoscopy lengthened during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is in this context that the role of FIT has been recently evaluated, to determine whether it can safely triage referrals and better identify high-risk patients than symptoms and non-specific blood tests alone.
FIT offers a non-invasive, community-based opportunity to help improve triage of the large number of patients seen in primary care with lower GI symptoms. Patients with a negative FIT, particularly in the context of a normal examination and other investigations, are low risk and may be managed in primary care if symptoms resolve. However, CRC pathways must permit the referral of people with a negative FIT and persistent and concerning symptoms or rectal bleeding for urgent assessment.
The results of germline testing for LS can be complicated and the diagnostic pathway is not always clear. Furthermore, by testing only those with cancer for LS we fail to identify these individuals before they develop potentially fatal pathology.
Given the benefits to discovering that someone has LS, not just for the patient but for their immediate family members, it is expected that most people would welcome genetic testing for LS. In fact, there is good number of studies that suggest that hypothetically there is a high interest in finding out this information.By contrast, there are good reports that show that there is a high number of people that decline testing.
In summary, LS care has come a long way over the last twenty years. We now understand the individual cancer risk to inform consent, tests to accurately diagnoses LS and ways by which we can reduce cancer risk. However, more needs to be done to find those who are undiagnosed, develop less invasive cancer surveillance methods and develop new vaccinations and treatments.
A report from the prospective Lynch syndrome database: The PLSD(www.PLSD.eu) is a prospective observational study without a control group that was designed in 2012 and updated up to October 2022. Data for 8500 carriers of path_MMR variants from 25 countries were included, providing 71,713 years of follow up.
The current study found low CRC mortality in path_MMR carriers who receive colonoscopy surveillance while some extracolonic cancers were associated with high mortality. Further improvement of survival in LS may require a focus on the prevention and treatment of non-colorectal cancers, likely including approaches based upon the immune response to MSI pre-cancerous lesions and cancers.
The Know Your Biomarker Advocacy Toolkit was created to help you join the global effort to ensure all colorectal cancer patients have access to biomarker testing.
Biomarkers and biomarker testing are a fundamental part of precision medicine for colorectal cancer. Biomarkers provide vital information used to determine prognosis and risk of recurrence, guide treatment decisions, evaluate treatment response, and monitor for recurrence after treatment. Biomarker testing can help assess the need for adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery.
We have information about
• what a biomarker is • how biomarkers are used in colorectal cancer care • who should have biomarker testing
• specific colorectal cancer biomarkers • the impact each biomarker can have on treatment