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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Apr;12(4):644-50. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2013.05.017. Epub 2013 May 23.

Long-term follow-up reveals low incidence of colorectal cancer, but frequent need for resection, among Australian patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

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  • 1Gastroenterology and Liver Services, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Sydney, Australia; School of Translational Medicine, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
  • 2IBD Service, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and School of Medicine, University of Adelaide at Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Australia.
  • 3Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Lancaster, Lancaster, United Kingdom.
  • 4Department of Gastroenterology, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
  • 5Gastroenterology and Liver Services, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
  • 6A. W. Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
  • 7Gastroenterology and Liver Services, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Sydney, Australia; Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.



Inflammatory bowel disease can require surgical resection and also lead to colorectal cancer (CRC). We investigated the cumulative incidence of resection surgeries and CRC among patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn's disease (CD).


We analyzed data from a cohort of patients who participated in an inflammatory bowel disease study (504 with UC and 377 with CD) at 2 academic medical centers in Sydney, Australia from 1977 to 1992 (before the development of biologic therapies). We collected follow-up data on surgeries and development of CRC from hospital and community medical records or via direct contact with patients during a median time period of 14 years. Cumulative incidences of resection surgeries and CRC were calculated by competing risk survival analysis.


Among patients with UC, CRC developed in 24, for a cumulative incidence of 1% at 10 years (95% confidence interval [CI], 0%-2%), 3% at 20 years (95% CI, 1%-5%), and 7% at 30 years (95% CI, 4%-10%). Their cumulative incidence of colectomy was 15% at 10 years (95% CI, 11%-19%), 26% at 20 years (95% CI, 21%-30%), and 31% at 30 years (95% CI, 25%-36%). Among patients with CD, 5 of 327 with colon disease developed CRC, with a cumulative incidence of CRC of 1% at 10 years (95% CI, 0%-2%), 1% at 20 years (95% CI, 0%-2%), and 2% at 30 years (95% CI, 0%-4%). Among all patients with CD, the cumulative incidence of resection was 32% at 5 years (95% CI, 27%-37%), 43% at 10 years (95% CI, 37%-49%), and 53% at 15 years (95% CI, 46%-58%). Of these 168 subjects, 42% required a second resection within 15 years of the first surgery (95% CI, 33%-50%).


Patients with UC have a low incidence of CRC during a 30-year period (7% or less); the incidence among patients with CD is even lower. However, almost one-third of patients with UC and about 50% of those with CD will require surgery.

Copyright © 2014 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Colon Cancer Risk; Prognosis; Therapy; Treatment

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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