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  • 1
    Abstract: Immunochemical faecal occult blood tests (iFOBTs) have been shown to have higher sensitivity to detect colorectal cancer (CRC) and its precursors than traditional guaiac-based faecal occult blood tests, but are more costly and require specific laboratory equipment. A number of qualitative iFOBTs have been developed, but their performance varied widely because of the large variation in positivity thresholds used for test positivity. We aimed to evaluate the performance of qualitative iFOBTs with well adjusted positivity thresholds in the screening setting. In a study of 229 participants who underwent screening colonoscopy in Germany (45 patients with CRC, 65 with advanced adenoma and 119 free of colorectal neoplasms), we evaluated the performance of two qualitative iFOBTs at five different positivity thresholds and compared it with the performance of a quantitative iFOBT. Receiver operating characteristic curves were constructed. The areas under the curve, and the sensitivity and specificity of the tests, were calculated. For both qualitative tests, sensitivities were around 30% for advanced adenoma and 80% for CRC at very high levels of specificity (98-99%). Comparison of results with the receiver operating characteristic curves for the quantitative test indicated that the qualitative tests yielded similarly high levels of sensitivity at comparable levels of specificity. In conclusion, with appropriate adjustment of positivity thresholds ensuring the levels of specificity required in population-based screening, qualitative, office-based iFOBTs can be an economic, qualitatively comparable alternative to quantitative iFOBTs.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23702679
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  • 2
    Abstract: BACKGROUND & AIMS: Screening the population for colorectal cancer (CRC) by colonoscopy could reduce the disease burden. However, targeted screening of individuals at high risk could increase its cost effectiveness. METHODS: We developed a scoring system to identify individuals with at least 1 advanced adenoma, based on easy-to-collect risk factors among 7891 participants of the German screening colonoscopy program. The system was validated in an independent sample of 3519 participants. Multiple logistic regression was used to develop the algorithm, and the regression coefficient-based scores were used to determine individual risks. Relative risk and numbers of colonoscopies needed for detecting one or more advanced neoplasm(s) were calculated for quintiles of the risk score. The predictive ability of the scoring system was quantified by the area under the curve. RESULTS: We identified 9 risk factors (sex, age, first-degree relatives with a history of CRC, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, red meat consumption, ever regular use [at least 2 times/wk for at least 1 y] of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, previous colonoscopy, and previous detection of polyps) that were associated significantly with risk of advanced neoplasms. The developed score was associated strongly with the presence of advanced neoplasms. In the validation sample, individuals in the highest quintile of scores had a relative risk for advanced neoplasm of 3.86 (95% confidence interval, 2.71-5.49), compared with individuals in the lowest quintile. The number needed to screen to detect 1 or more advanced neoplasm(s) varied from 20 to 5 between quintiles of the risk score. In the validation sample, the scoring system identified patients with CRC or any advanced neoplasm with area under the curve values of 0.68 and 0.66, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: We developed a scoring system, based on easy-to-collect risk factors, to identify individuals most likely to have advanced neoplasms. This system might be used to stratify individuals for CRC screening.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24022090
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