MITA Disappointed in USPSTF Draft Recommendations for Colorectal Cancer Screening

10.06.15

Washington, D.C. – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) today expressed concern that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) did not endorse computed tomography (CT) colonography in its draft recommendations for colorectal cancer screening.

“It is disappointing USPSTF disregarded the abundance of evidence showing that CT colonography is a better, more patient-friendly alternative to traditional optical colonoscopy,” said Patrick Hope, MITA’s Executive Director. “Colon cancer screening is already dramatically underutilized, and we believe greater acceptance of CT colonography would likely increase access to early detection and life-saving treatment. It is our hope that upon review of our comments, USPSTF will endorse CT colonography for colon cancer screening.”

Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, despite having a 90 percent cure rate when detected early. CT colonography uses low-dose X-rays to produce three-dimensional images of the colon. Compared to the traditional optical exam, CT colonography is less invasive and does not require sedation.

Last month, an analysis published in Abdominal Imaging confirmed that CT colonography is a cost-effective colorectal cancer screening option for the Medicare population. Several prior national studies, including research led by Dr. Brooks Cash of National Naval Medical Center/Walter Reed Army Medical Center, have also demonstrated the value of CT colonography as an effective tool to detect colorectal cancer in Medicare-eligible beneficiaries.

According to a 2012 American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) paper published in Radiology, CT colonography is comparable to optical colonography for Americans ages 65 years and older. These findings are consistent with data from the 2008 ACRIN trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showing the test’s accuracy for the broader 50 years of age and older population.

MITA plans to submit formal comments to USPSTF in response to the draft recommendations ahead of the November 2 deadline.

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 The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA, is the collective voice of medical imaging equipment, radiation therapy and radiopharmaceutical manufacturers, innovators and product developers. It represents companies whose sales comprise more than 90 percent of the global market for medical imaging technology. For more information, visit www.medicalimaging.org. Follow MITA on Twitter @MITAToday.