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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 27 (2013), Issue 1, Pages 20-24
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/380389
Original Article

Long-Term Follow-Up of Patients with Malignant Pedunculated Colon Polyps after Colonoscopic Polypectomy

Hugh James Freeman

Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 16 March 2012; Accepted 24 June 2012

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Previously published studies have suggested that patients with resected colon cancer have an increased risk for early metachronous colon cancer. Current screening guidelines recommend intense surveillance by colonoscopy for the initial five years after the initial colon cancer has been resected. Information regarding endoscopically removed malignant polyps is limited.

METHODS: In the present study, 25 consecutive patients (14 male, 11 female) with malignant pedunculated colon polyps treated with snare cautery polypectomy were followed for more than one decade up to 20 years. Five patients required an additional resection to ensure that removal of the original cancer was complete. Annual colonoscopies were planned for five years. If an adenoma was detected in the fifth year, colonoscopy was performed annually until no adenomas were detected. Otherwise, colonoscopy was planned every three years after five years.

RESULTS: In the present study, there was no mortality from colon cancer and no patient developed either recurrent colon cancer or an early metachronous colon cancer during the initial five-year period of surveillance. Two patients (one male, one female) ultimately developed late cecal cancers almost one decade after the original colon cancers were resected. One had an early stage cancer that was resected, while the other had an infiltrating mucinous carcinoma complicating a small tubulovillous adenoma with extension to a single lymph node. After surgical removal and adjuvant chemotherapy, no further neoplastic disease has been detected.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, patients with malignant pedunculated polyps do extremely well if appropriately managed at the time of the initial polypectomy. Short-term outcomes after removal of a malignant polyp(s) appear to be similar to those with a nonmalignant polyp. However, late metachronous colon cancer may still occur. Long-term follow-up should be considered in each patient, assuming reasonable life expectancy, because risk of additional adenomas and metachronous colon cancer persists even after the initial five years of currently recommended surveillance. Patients with resected malignant polyps may represent a special patient subgroup that requires surveillance for more extended periods than current guidelines have recommended.