Flexible sigmoidoscopy in the Randomized Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial: Added yield from a second screening examination - Abstract

Background:Among randomized trials evaluating flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSG) for its effect on colorectal cancer mortality, only the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial screened its participants more than one time.

We report outcomes from the PLCO screening FSG program and evaluate the increased yield produced by a second FSG.

Methods: Participants were screened by 60-cm FSG in 10 regional screening centers at study entry and 3 or 5 years later, depending on the time of random assignment. Results from subsequent diagnostic intervention were tracked and recorded in a standardized fashion, and outcomes were compared according to sex and age. The protocol discouraged repeat FSG in persons with colorectal cancer or adenoma diagnosed after the initial FSG.

Results: Of 77 447 enrollees, 67 073 (86.6%) had at least one FSG and 39 443 (50.9%) had two FSGs. Diagnostic intervention occurred in 74.9% after a positive first FSG and in 78.7% after a positive repeat FSG. The second FSG increased the screening yield by 32%: Colorectal cancer or advanced adenoma was detected in 37.8 per 1000 persons after first screening and in 49.8 per 1000 persons after all screenings. The second FSG increased the yield of cancer or advanced adenoma by 26% in women and by 34% in men. Of 223 subjects who received a diagnosis of colorectal carcinoma within 1 year of a positive FSG, 64.6% had stage I and 17.5% had stage II disease.

Conclusions: Repeat FSG increased the detection of colorectal cancer or advanced adenoma in women by one-fourth and in men by one-third. Screen-detected carcinomas were early stage (stage I or II) in greater than 80% of screened persons. Colorectal cancer mortality data from the PLCO, as the definitive endpoint, will follow in later publications.

Written by:
Weissfeld JL, Schoen RE, Pinsky PF, Bresalier RS, Doria-Rose VP, Laiyemo AO, Church T, Yokochi LA, Yurgalevitch S, Rathmell J, Andriole GL, Buys S, Crawford ED, Fouad M, Isaacs C, Lamerato L, Reding D, Prorok PC, Berg CD. Are you the author?
UPMC Cancer Pavilion (POB II), 4th Floor, 5150 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15232.

Reference: J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 Feb 22;104(4):280-289.
doi: 10.1093/jnci/djr549

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 22298838