Both the adenoma detection rate (ADR) and proximal serrated polyp detection rate (PSPDR) vary among endoscopists. It is unclear how these variations influence colorectal cancer (CRC) screening effectiveness. We evaluated the effect of variation in these detection rates on the long-term impact of fecal immunochemical test (FIT) based screening.
The Adenoma and Serrated pathway to Colorectal CAncer (ASCCA) model was set up to simulate the Dutch national biennial FIT-based CRC screening program between 2014 and 2044. Adherence to FIT and colonoscopy was 73 and 92%. Besides a ‘no screening scenario’, several screening scenarios varying in ADR and PSPDR were evaluated. Using the available literature on colonoscopy miss rates led to a base-case ADR of 59% and PSPDR of 11%, which were varied with intervals of 3 and 2%.
Compared to no screening, FIT-screening in the base-case scenario reduced long-term mortality with 51.8%. At a fixed PSPDR of 11%, an increase in ADR from 44 to 62% would result in a 10.7% difference in mortality reduction. Using a fixed ADR of 59%, changing the PSPDR from 3 to 15% did not substantially influence long-term mortality (51.0 to 52.3%).
An increase in ADR gradually reduces CRC burden in a FIT-based screening program, whereas an increase in PSPDR only minimally influences long-term outcomes at a population-level. The limited effect of the PSPDR can be explained by the limited sensitivity of FIT for serrated polyps (SPs). Other triage modalities aiming to detect relevant SPs should be explored.