Systematic review: non-endoscopic surveillance for colorectal neoplasia in individuals with Lynch syndrome

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BACKGROUND: Individuals with Lynch syndrome are at high risk for colorectal cancer (CRC). Regular colonoscopies have proven to decrease CRC incidence and mortality. However, colonoscopy is burdensome and interval CRCs still occur. Hence, an accurate, less-invasive screening method that guides the timing of colonoscopy would be of important value.

AIM: To outline the performance of non-endoscopic screening modalities for Lynch-associated CRC and adenomas.

METHODS: Systematic literature search in MEDLINE and EMBASE to identify studies investigating imaging techniques and biomarkers for detection of CRC and adenomas in Lynch syndrome. The QUADAS-2 tool was used for the quality assessment of included studies.

RESULTS: Seven of 1332 screened articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Two studies evaluated either CT colonography or MR colonography; both techniques were unable to detect CRC and (advanced) adenomas <10 mm. The other five studies evaluated plasma methylated-SEPTIN9, faecal immunochemical test (FIT), faecal tumour DNA markers (BAT-26, hMLH1, p53, D9S171, APC, D9S162, IFNA and DCC) and faecal microbiome as screening modalities. Sensitivity for CRC varied from 33% (BAT-26) to 70% (methylated-SEPTIN9) to 91% (hMLH1). High specificity (94-100%) for CRC and/or adenomas was observed for methylated-SEPTIN9, FIT and BAT-26. Desulfovibrio was enriched in the stool of patients having adenomas. However, all these studies were characterised by small populations, high/unclear risk of bias and/or low prevalence of adenomas.

CONCLUSIONS: Imaging techniques are unsuitable for colon surveillance in Lynch syndrome, whereas biomarkers are understudied. Having outlined biomarker research in Lynch-associated and sporadic CRC/adenomas, we believe that these non-invasive markers may hold potential (whether or not combined) for this population. As they could be of great value, (pre-)clinical studies in this field should be prioritised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-788
Number of pages11
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number7
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

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