Increased colonoscopies urged for those at increased risk

July 9, 2010

Surveillance colonoscopies every one to two years instead of every two to three years is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer for members of families with Lynch syndrome, according to new research.

Gastroenterology. 2010;138:2300-2306. [June 2010]

Surveillance colonoscopies every one to two years instead of every two to three years is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) for members of families with Lynch syndrome, according to researchers from Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands. They tracked CRC incidence during 1995 to 2008 in 205 Lynch syndrome families who had mutations in one of the mismatch repair genes. Forty-six families without the genetic condition were also followed. In a mean follow-up of 7.2 years, the researchers found that 33 of the Lynch syndrome patients under surveillance developed CRC, compared to 6 individuals in a mean 7.0 years of follow-up among the non-Lynch syndrome families. Of the 33 Lynch syndrome patients with CRC, 13 had an interval of more than two years from their previous colonoscopy to CRC detection. Of the 20 patients who had colonoscopies within the two-year interval, 90 percent had localized tumors.