Article in the New England Journal of Medicine

On the opening day of the Centre, Principal Investigator Michael Bretthauer and colleagues published an article entitled "Long-Term Colorectal-Cancer Mortality after Adenoma Removal" in the top journal New England Journal of Medicine (impact factor 54).

First authors Magnus Løberg (left) and Mette Kalager with Professor Michael Bretthauer. Photo: Dagrun K. Gjøstein

Do patients benefit from colon-polyp surveillance?

In their paper they took advantage of nationwide data from the Cancer Registry of Norway on patients who have had colorectal adenomas removed, they have evaluated colorectal-cancer mortality in a large, population-based cohort with virtually complete follow-up for death from colorectal cancer.

Their finding that the removal of low-risk adenomas reduces the risk of death from colorectal cancer over a period of 8 years to a level below the risk in the general population, is consistent with the hypothesis that surveillance every 5 years after removal of low-risk adenomas may confer little benefit over less intensive surveillance strategies. Furthermore, complications associated with colonoscopy are not trivial and might offset the benefit of surveillance.

The findings are commented in an editorial in NEJM.