New Study Compares Effectiveness of Imaging Tests for Staging Colorectal Cancer
A new research review by AHRQ finds there is evidence to make tentative conclusions about the accuracy and effectiveness of imaging tests for establishing the extent of the spread of colorectal cancer in patients, but many research gaps remain. According to the review, low-strength evidence suggests endoscopic rectal ultrasound (ERUS) is more accurate than computed tomography (CT) for preoperative rectal cancer tumors for assessing the spread of cancer, called staging. The review, “Imaging Tests for the Staging of Colorectal Cancer: Comparative Effectiveness,” also finds that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is similar in accuracy to ERUS in the same setting. Moderate-strength evidence suggests MRI is more likely to detect colorectal liver metastases than CT. The review says more research is needed to better assess various issues, including the interim restaging of both colon and rectal cancer and the impact of combining different imaging modalities on pretreatment and interim staging assessments.