Colorectal cancer prognosis among patients with inflammatory bowel disease

Thierry Delaunoit, Paul J Limburg, Richard M Goldberg, James F Lymp, Edward V Loftus
Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2006, 4 (3): 335-42

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with an increased risk for colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the genetic, endoscopic, and histologic features of IBD-associated CRC differ from cancers that arise sporadically. The objectives of this study were to describe the clinicopathologic features of IBD-associated CRC and to compare survival rates between patients with IBD-associated CRC and patients with sporadic CRC.

METHODS: There were 290 patients with IBD-associated CRC (241 with chronic ulcerative colitis [CUC] and 49 with Crohn's disease) and an equal number of age- and sex-matched sporadic CRC patients who were evaluated at the Mayo Clinic between 1976 and 1996. Medical records were reviewed retrospectively for demographic features, endoscopic and histologic characteristics, and vital status at the time of the last follow-up evaluation. The actuarial survival of each group was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method. The influence of clinical features on survival was assessed using Cox proportional hazards regression modeling.

RESULTS: The median age at diagnosis of IBD-related CRC was 48 years. Fifty-five percent of IBD-related tumors were distal to the splenic flexure compared with 78% of sporadic tumors. During a median follow-up period of 5 years, 163 IBD-associated CRC patients died (56%), compared with 164 sporadic CRC patients (57%). The 5-year survival rates were 54% in the IBD-CRC subgroup vs 53% in the sporadic CRC subgroup (P = .94, log-rank).

CONCLUSIONS: CUC-related CRC is diagnosed at a relatively young age, and IBD-related tumors tend to be distributed more evenly across the colorectum than sporadic tumors. The survival rates for IBD-associated and sporadic CRC were similar.

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