Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) increases the risk of colorectal cancer, indicating that inflammation might alter tumor characteristics and potentially affect treatment and survival.
Published data on this topic are inconclusive, so Dr Laurence Egan and colleagues from the United Kingdon conducted a population-based study in Ireland to address it.
The research team used the National Cancer Registry to collect data on all patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer in Ireland from 1994 to 2005, and identified those who also had IBD.
The clinical characteristics, treatment, and survival of patients with IBD and colorectal cancer were compared with those of patients with colorectal cancer without IBD.
Patients with colorectal cancer and IBD were, on average, 8 years younger than those without IBD at diagnosis of colorectal cancer, and were less likely to smoke.
Fewer colorectal cancers in patients with IBD were stage 4 at diagnosis.
|Older age was associated independently with shorter survival time|
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The research team observed no significant difference in colorectal cancer treatment modalities between patients with or without IBD.
The median survival time of colorectal cancer patients with IBD was about 3 years longer than that of patients without IBD.
However, the team found that IBD was not a significant prognostic factor for colorectal cancer on further analysis.
The team observed that older age, male sex, smoking, and advanced grade and stage all were associated independently with shorter survival time.
When propensity score matching was used to analyze outcomes, the survival times of colorectal cancer patients with and without IBD did not differ significantly.
Dr Egan's team concluded, "The features of patients with colorectal cancer and IBD differ significantly from those of colorectal cancer patients without IBD, but each group of patients receive similar treatment and have similar patterns of disease progression after diagnosis."