An unmet medical need: Advances in endoscopic imaging of colorectal neoplasia

Authors


Abstract

Gastrointestinal cancer is a major public health problem worldwide. Detection of early neoplastic lesions in gastrointestinal tract is essential for cure, because prognosis and survival are related to the size and stage of malignant lesions. Endoscopic screening and treatment of polyps could prevent approximately 80% of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, white-light endoscopy is an imperfect technology since miss rates of up to 25% have been reported and polyps without malignant potential were treated without benefit but with additional costs and risks to the patient. There are several known “human” predictors of an inadequate colonoscopy. These include patient characteristics such as poor bowel preparation, female gender, or inpatient status. Skills of the endoscopists are also an important issue. Therefore, a variety of advanced technologies has been attempted to overcome these issues. These new endoscopic imaging techniques allow a more precise classification of mucosal alterations with selection of patients for invasive therapy or surveillance. Further, molecular and functional imaging techniques could identify novel targets for therapies and new prospects to access response to therapies. However, at the “end of the day” a better endoscopic approach for CRC screening and surveillance depends on a good bowel preparation, a trained endoscopist spending sufficient time on a detailed examination together with an advanced endoscope. (© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

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