Oncology, diagnostic imaging

First annual pan-Asian CT colonography congress

13 December 2007

Leading radiology experts from China, Korea, Japan and the UK have draw up plans this week for the first ever pan-Asian computerised tomographic colonography (CTC) congress.

The rising prevalence of colorectal cancer in Asia, necessitates a meeting in Asia to ensure the exchange of scientific and professional information about colorectal cancer screening, and to encourage increased adoption of CTC by Asian radiologists.

Medicsight plc, a UK-headquartered developer of computer-aided detection (CAD) and image analysis software for the medical imaging market will provide an educational grant to facilitate logistical support for the inaugural meeting.

According to Professor Steve Halligan, of University College Hospital, London, and Chair of the steering committee: “There are a great number of healthcare professionals in Asia who are not being given the training opportunities that are available in Europe and the USA. Their involvement in these educational initiatives could ultimately provide patients with better access to cutting edge diagnostic technologies.”

The Asia-Pacific region contributes almost half of the world’s cancer deaths. Colorectal cancer is the world’s second most prevalent cancer and is the cause of approximately 75,000 deaths annually in Eastern Asia (1) (China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia) and this figure is rising. Among individuals diagnosed with colorectal cancer, survival is highly dependent on how advanced the disease is at diagnosis.

Five-year survival is 90% if the disease is diagnosed while confined by the bowel wall but only 65% once it has spread to the lymph nodes and 9% if it has spread throughout the body(2). Most colorectal cancers arise from precursor lesions in the large intestine called ‘adenomatous polyps’. Screening is important because it means that adenomatous polyps can be removed before they become cancerous. Screening also detects asymptomatic cancer, which has a better prognosis than symptomatic disease(2).

There are a number of colorectal cancer screening tools available, each with advantages and disadvantages. Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard for screening for colon cancer. However, data presented at the recent American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) meeting showed that CTC is at least as sensitive as conventional colonoscopy in detecting adenomas of 1 cm diameter or larger(3).

CTC is a less invasive option and unlike conventional colonoscopy, there is no need for the patient to undergo sedation and the risk of symptomatic colon perforation is much less.

Dr Stuart Taylor of University College Hospital, London and faculty member of the steering committee, said, “In Asia, a broad multi-detector computerised tomography (MDCT) infrastructure exists that could support colorectal cancer screening by CTC. This pan-Asia CTC Congress will certainly provide radiologists with the opportunity to be trained in CTC by some of the world’s finest specialists and raise awareness of the importance of colorectal cancer screening.”

The steering committee, comprising Professor Steve Halligan, UK, Dr Stuart Taylor, Uk, Dr Noriyuki Moriyama, Japan, Dr Gen Iinuma, Japan, Dr Qi Ji, China, Dr Zhou Cheng, China and Dr Se Hyung Kim, Korea, intends that the CTC Asia Congress will promote and showcase state-of-the art CTC practice and research, informing and educating delegates on interpretation and best clinical practice.

As well as offering high quality “hands on” training workshops, the congress will encourage research collaboration amongst delegates and help to foster and cement relationships within the Asian radiology and gastroenterology community. The congress is planned to be held in 2009, with the location yet to be decided.


1. Globocan 2002, Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence, Eastern Asia. http://www-dep.iarc.fr/

2. Smith RA, Mettlin CJ, Eyre H. 31. Cancer Screening and Early Detection. In: D. W. Kufe et al., eds. Cancer Medicine. 6 ed. Hamilton, London: BC Decker Inc, 2003

3. Pickhardt PJ, Choi JR, Hwang I, et al. Computed tomographic virtual colonoscopy to screen for colorectal neoplasia in asymptomatic adults. N Engl J Med 2003; 349(23):2191-2200.

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