Virtual Colonoscopy Nears Prime Time
CT Colon Scan Finds Cancer as Well as Colonoscopy
WebMD News Archive
Virtual Colonoscopy: Ready for Prime Time?
If CTC works so well, with so little risk, why isn't it now recommended for
colon cancer screening? That's what WebMD asked Durado Brooks, MD, MPH,
director of prostate and colorectal cancers for the American Cancer
"The big question is whether the larger community of radiologists can
get the same sort of very encouraging results we see in this study," Brooks
tells WebMD. "These guys at Wisconsin have a great deal of experience using
this technology in a setting where the technicians and everybody else is used
to doing this. This is off the scale for community doctors who do CT
But Brooks says we'll soon have an answer to this question. A large
NCI-funded study is looking at how well CTC works when done by a large number
of different radiologists. The study is completed and results should be
available early next year.
"If these kinds of findings can be replicated, it would enhance the
likelihood this would become another alternative for colorectal cancer
screening," Brooks says. "So CT colonography could be added to the
American Cancer Society recommendations if research suggests it can be done
efficiently, safely, and with consistent performance in a variety of
Pickhardt says an early look at the results of this CTC validation study are
"very good" and "gratifying."
"If the American Cancer Society recognizes this as a valid colon cancer
screening test, then insurance companies will pay for it and it will take
off," he says. "This has been a long time coming, but now is an
Kim, Pickhardt, and colleagues report their findings in the Oct. 4 issue of
TheNew England Journal of Medicine.