- The risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) is higher in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Population-based data from patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) estimate that the risk of CRC is approximately 2- to 3-fold that of the general population; patients with Crohn's disease appear to have a similar increased risk. However, the true extent of colitis-associated cancer (CAC) in undertreated IBD is unclear. Data suggest that the size (i.e., severity and extent) and persistence of the inflammatory process is largely responsible for the development of CRC in IBD.
- Current endoscopic surveillance protocols for Barrett’s oesophagus have several limitations, mainly the poor cost-effectiveness and high miss rate. However, there is sufficient evidence that patients enrolled in a surveillance program have better survival chances of oesophageal cancer due to earlier tumor stages at diagnosis compared to patients with de novo diagnosed oesophagus cancer. Risk stratifications aim to identify patients at highest risk of developing adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus; most of them base on the length of the Barrett’s segment and the presence of dysplasia.
- In spite of the well-established histopathological phenotyping of IBD-associated preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions, their molecular landscape remains to be fully elucidated. Several studies have pinpointed the initiating role of longstanding/relapsing inflammatory insult on the intestinal mucosa, with the activation of different pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10, IFN-γ), chemokines and metabolites of arachidonic acid resulting in the activation of key transcription factors such as NF-κB.
- In both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the secondary prevention of colorectal cancer basically relies on the histological detection of dysplasia. In inflammatory bowel diseases, dysplasia identifies the subgroup of patients eligible for stricter surveillance (or prophylactic colectomy). In clinical practice, a number of issues may influence the benefits of clinico-pathological surveillance for inflammatory bowel disease patients with dysplasia, including: sampling errors, inconsistent biopsy assessments, patients’ compliance with follow-up requirements, and how heath care is organized.
- Barrett's esophagus is the result of long-term acid reflux and is a precursor to esophageal adenocarcinoma. Surgical resection of the esophagus has been the mainstay of treatment for high grade dysplasia and early cancer. However, recent advances in the endoscopic imaging and ablation technologies have made esophagectomy avoidable in patients with dysplasia and superficial neoplasia. In this article, we review the most relevant endoscopic imaging technologies, such as chromoendoscopy, narrow band and autofluorescence imaging, and confocal laser endomicroscopy.