Missed colorectal cancers in a fecal immunochemical test-based screening program: Molecular profiling of interval carcinomas.



FIT-interval CRCs observed in a Dutch pilot-program of FIT-based screening were compared to a control group of SD-CRCs in a 1:2 ratio, resulting in 27 FIT-interval CRC and 54 SD-CRCs. Molecular analyses included microsatellite instability (MSI), CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), DNA sequence mutations and copy number alterations (CNAs).


Serrated pathway associated molecular features seem to be more common in FIT-interval CRCs, while classic adenoma carcinoma pathway associated molecular features seem to be more common in SD-CRCs. This indicates that proximal serrated lesions may be overrepresented among FIT-interval CRCs.


For optimizing fecal immunochemical test (FIT)-based screening programs, reducing the rate of missed colorectal cancers (CRCs) by FIT (FIT-interval CRCs) is an important aspect. Knowledge of the molecular make-up of these missed lesions could facilitate more accurate detection of all (precursor) lesions.


To compare the molecular make-up of FIT-interval CRCs to lesions that are detected by FIT [screen-detected CRCs (SD-CRCs)].


Although no significant differences were reached, FIT-interval CRCs were more often CIMP positive and MSI positive (33% CIMP in FIT-interval CRCs vs 21% in SD-CRCs (P = 0.274); 19% MSI in FIT-interval CRCs vs 12% in SD-CRCs (P = 0.469)), and showed more often serrated pathway associated features such as BRAF (30% vs 12%, P = 0.090) and PTEN (15% vs 2.4%, P = 0.063) mutations. APC mutations, a classic feature of the adenoma-carcinoma-sequence, were more abundant in SD-CRCs (68% vs 40% in FIT-interval CRCs P = 0.035). Regarding CNAs differences between the two groups; FIT-interval CRCs less often showed gains at the regions 8p11.22-q24.3 (P = 0.009), and more often gains at 20p13-p12.1 (P = 0.039).

More about this publication

World journal of gastrointestinal oncology
  • Volume 14
  • Issue nr. 11
  • Pages 2195-2207
  • Publication date 15-11-2022

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