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.
Disclaimer: The clinical practice guidelines and other guidance published herein are provided by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. ("ASCO") to assist practitioners in clinical decision making. The information therein should not be relied upon as being complete or accurate, nor should it be considered as inclusive of all proper treatments or methods of care or as a statement of the standard of care. With the rapid development of scientific knowledge, new evidence may emerge between the time information is developed and when it is published or read. The information is not continually updated and may not reflect the most recent evidence. The information addresses only the topics specifically identified therein and is not applicable to other interventions, diseases, or stages of diseases. This information does not mandate any particular course of medical care. Further, the information is not intended to substitute for the independent professional judgment of the treating physician, as the information does not account for individual variation among patients. Recommendations reflect high, moderate or low confidence that the recommendation reflects the net effect of a given course of action. The use of words like "must," "must not," "should," and "should not" indicate that a course of action is recommended or not recommended for either most or many patients, but there is latitude for the treating physician to select other courses of action in individual cases. In all cases, the selected course of action should be considered by the treating physician in the context of treating the individual patient. Use of the information is voluntary. ASCO provides this information on an "as is" basis, and makes no warranty, express or implied, regarding the information. ASCO specifically disclaims any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular use or purpose. ASCO assumes no responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to any use of this information or for any errors or omissions.