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Research News

HSR&D Investigators Contribute to Key Guidelines for Management of Colon Polyps

October 5, 2020

Several HSR&D investigators contributed to recently published recommendations by the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer (MSTF) for the resection of colorectal growths (polyps). The complete removal of precancerous polyps (polypectomy) has been shown to decrease the incidence and mortality rate for colorectal cancer (CRC).

Current lifetime risk to develop CRC in the United States is approximately 4.3%, with 90% of cases occurring after the age of 50 years—and Veterans have been shown to have higher rates of adenomatous colon polyps, which are considered precursors of most CRCs. However, recent reductions in CRC incidence and mortality have been largely attributed to the widespread uptake of CRC screening with polypectomy. Published in several well-respected journals in the field of gastroenterology, the MSTF guidelines provide endoscopists with evidence-based practices for the safe and proper removal of polyps of various sizes, as well as morphologies and histologies. It is expected that this comprehensive document will enable physicians throughout VA and beyond to improve colonoscopy practices, ensure early detection of polyps, and reduce CRC death.

Contributing to the MSTF recommendations were HSR&D physician-researchers Tonya Kaltenbach, MD, MSc, affiliate investigator with the San Francisco VA Medical Center; Jason Dominitz, MD, affiliate investigator with HSR&D’s Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value Driven Care in Seattle, WA; Samir Gupta, MD, MS, affiliate investigator with the San Diego VA Medical Center; and Aasma Shaukat, MD, MPH, investigator with HSR&D’s Center for Care Delivery and Outcomes Research in Minneapolis, MN.

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