Three-Year Interval for the Multi-Target Stool DNA Test for Colorectal Cancer Screening: A Longitudinal Study

Thomas F. Imperiale, Philip T. Lavin, Tara N. Marti, Debbie Jakubowski, Steven H. Itzkowitz, Folasade P. May, Paul J. Limburg, Seth Sweetser, Anas Daghestani, Barry M. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data supporting the clinical utility of multi-target stool DNA (mt-sDNA) at the guideline-recommended 3-year interval have not been reported. Between April 2015 and July 2016, candidates for colorectal cancer screening whose providers prescribed the mt-sDNA test were enrolled. Participants with a positive baseline test were recommended for colonoscopy and completed the study. Those with a negative baseline test were followed annually for 3 years. In year 3, the mt-sDNA test was repeated and colonoscopy was recommended independent of results. Data were analyzed using the Predictive Summary Index (PSI), a measure of the gain in certainty for dichotomous diagnostic tests (where a positive value indicates a net gain), and by comparing observed versus expected colorectal cancers and advanced precancerous lesions. Of 2,404 enrolled subjects, 2,044 (85%) had a valid baseline mt-sDNA result [284 (13.9%) positive and 1,760 (86.1%) negative]. Following participant attrition, the year 3 intention to screen cohort included 591 of 1,760 (33.6%) subjects with valid mt-sDNA and colonoscopy results, with no colorectal cancers and 63 advanced precancerous lesions [22 (34.9%) detected by mt-sDNA] and respective PSI values of 0% (P ¼ 1) and 9.3% (P ¼ 0.01). The observed 3-year colorectal cancer yield was lower than expected (one-sided P ¼ 0.09), while that for advanced precancerous lesions was higher than expected (two-sided P ¼ 0.009). Repeat mt-sDNA screening at a 3-year interval resulted in a statistically significant gain in detection of advanced precancerous lesions. Due to absence of year 3 colorectal cancers, the PSI estimate for colorectal cancer was underpowered and could not be reliably quantified. Larger studies are required to assess the colorectal cancer study findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Prevention Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


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