The management of malignant polyps in colorectal cancer screening programmes: A retrospective Italian multi-centre study

Dig Liver Dis. 2015 Aug;47(8):715-9. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2015.04.011. Epub 2015 Apr 25.


Background: Although recognition of colorectal malignant polyps is increasing, treatment plans lack the evidence of randomised trials.

Aim: To retrospectively evaluate presentation, management and outcomes of screen-detected colorectal malignant polyps, with special focus on the role of histological factors in therapeutic decision-making.

Methods: We retrospectively analysed data regarding malignant polyps detected during faecal immuno-chemical test-based screening programmes in five centres in North-Eastern Italy between April 2008 and April 2013.

Results: 306 malignant polyps in 306 patients were included; 72 patients underwent surgery directly (23.6%). Of 234 patients treated endoscopically, 133 subsequently underwent radicalisation surgery (56.8%) and in 17 there was evidence of residual disease (12.8%). Involved, unsafe (<1mm) or invaluable resection margins and sessile morphology represented the most frequent determinants of subsequent surgery. The mean number of nodes harvested during radicalisation surgery was 7.1±6.4 (range 0-29). Histological diagnosis was re-evaluated according to new guidelines in 125 cases (41%); in 18 this led to modification of the risk class (14.4%).

Conclusions: Although the rate of surgical treatment following endoscopic resection is similar to other studies, residual disease at surgery was lower than most international series. Adhering to the new histological reporting system and respecting guidelines on node harvesting may favourably influence prognosis.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer screening; Colorectal malignant polyps; Histological re-evaluation; Radicalisation surgery.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Carcinoma / secondary
  • Carcinoma / surgery*
  • Colonic Polyps / pathology*
  • Colonic Polyps / surgery*
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Decision Making
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Lymph Node Excision*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm, Residual
  • Occult Blood*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tumor Burden