Purpose: The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has a policy and set of procedures for endorsing recent clinical practice guidelines that have been developed by other professional organizations.
Methods: The Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) Guideline on Follow-up Care, Surveillance Protocol, and Secondary Prevention Measures for Survivors of Colorectal Cancer was reviewed by ASCO for methodologic rigor and considered for endorsement.
Results: The ASCO Panel concurred with the CCO recommendations and recommended endorsement, with the addition of several qualifying statements.
Conclusion: Surveillance should be guided by presumed risk of recurrence and functional status of the patient (important within the first 2 to 4 years). Medical history, physical examination, and carcinoembryonic antigen testing should be performed every 3 to 6 months for 5 years. Patients at higher risk of recurrence should be considered for testing in the more frequent end of the range. A computed tomography scan (abdominal and chest) is recommended annually for 3 years, in most cases. Positron emission tomography scans should not be used for surveillance outside of a clinical trial. A surveillance colonoscopy should be performed 1 year after the initial surgery and then every 5 years, dictated by the findings of the previous one. If a colonoscopy was not preformed before diagnosis, it should be done after completion of adjuvant therapy (before 1 year). Secondary prevention (maintaining a healthy body weight and active lifestyle) is recommended. If a patient is not a candidate for surgery or systemic therapy because of severe comorbid conditions, surveillance tests should not be performed. A treatment plan from the specialist should have clear directions on appropriate follow-up by a nonspecialist.