Cystic Fibrosis Colorectal Cancer Screening Consensus Recommendations

Cystic Fibrosis Colorectal Cancer Screening Task Force

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Improved therapy has substantially increased survival of persons with cystic fibrosis (CF). But the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) in adults with CF is 5−10 times greater compared to the general population, and 25−30 times greater in CF patients after an organ transplantation. To address this risk, the CF Foundation convened a multi-stakeholder task force to develop CRC screening recommendations. Methods: The 18-member task force consisted of experts including pulmonologists, gastroenterologists, a social worker, nurse coordinator, surgeon, epidemiologist, statistician, CF adult, and a parent. The committee comprised 3 workgroups: Cancer Risk, Transplant, and Procedure and Preparation. A guidelines specialist at the CF Foundation conducted an evidence synthesis February−March 2016 based on PubMed literature searches. Task force members conducted additional independent searches. A total of 1159 articles were retrieved. After initial screening, the committee read 198 articles in full and analyzed 123 articles to develop recommendation statements. An independent decision analysis evaluating the benefits of screening relative to harms and resources required was conducted by the Department of Public Health at Erasmus Medical Center, Netherlands using the Microsimulation Screening Analysis model from the Cancer Innervation and Surveillance Modeling Network. The task force included recommendation statements in the final guideline only if they reached an 80% acceptance threshold. Results: The task force makes 10 CRC screening recommendations that emphasize shared, individualized decision-making and familiarity with CF-specific gastrointestinal challenges. We recommend colonoscopy as the preferred screening method, initiation of screening at age 40 years, 5-year re-screening and 3-year surveillance intervals (unless shorter interval is indicated by individual findings), and a CF-specific intensive bowel preparation. Organ transplant recipients with CF should initiate CRC screening at age 30 years within 2 years of the transplantation because of the additional risk for colon cancer associated with immunosuppression. Conclusions: These recommendations aim to help CF adults, families, primary care physicians, gastroenterologists, and CF and transplantation centers address the issue of CRC screening. They differ from guidelines developed for the general population with respect to the recommended age of screening initiation, screening method, preparation, and the interval for repeat screening and surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-745.e14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • CFTR
  • Cancer
  • Colon
  • Colonoscopy
  • Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Intestine
  • Large Bowel
  • Recommendations
  • Rectum
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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