Inappropriate Multi-Target Stool DNA Use for Colorectal Cancer Screening: Risks, Compliance, and Outcomes.
Background Inappropriate or "off-label" use of multi-target stool DNA (mt-sDNA) tests refers to their use in patients for whom colonoscopy or no testing at all is warranted. Examples include a positive family history of colorectal cancer, a history of inflammatory bowel disease, or medical issues necessitating diagnostic colonoscopy, among others. Current understanding of off-label mt-sDNA use for colorectal cancer screening, its associated risks, and outcomes is lacking. We examined off-label mt-sDNA prescription and compliance with testing in an outpatient setting in southeast Michigan. Aims The primary aims of the study were determining the extent of off-label mt-sDNA testing and compliance, and results of all testing, as well as demographic factors associated with off-label prescriptions. The secondary aims were to examine explanations for incomplete testing and factors contributing to successful completion. Methods Using a retrospective design, we identified mt-sDNA orders from outpatient internal medicine clinics between January 1, 2018, to July 31, 2019, to evaluate the proportion of off-label mt-sDNA, results of testing, and follow-up colonoscopies up to one year after order placement. Patients were categorized as "off-label" if any inappropriate criteria were met. Statistical analysis was performed for primary and secondary outcomes. Results From 679 mt-sDNA orders within the study period, 81 (12.1%) had at least one off-label criterion for testing. In total, 404/679 (59.5%) patients completed testing. Lack of follow-up comprised the majority of incompletions (216/275; 78.6%). Only 52 (70.3%) out of 74 positive results were followed by diagnostic colonoscopy. Retired employment status (OR = 1.87; 95%CI, 1.17-2.98; P = 0.008) and age of 76 years or older (OR = 2.28; 95%CI, 0.99-5.21; P = 0.044) were significantly associated with increased risk of off-label mt-sDNA prescription. Increasing age range was associated with higher test completion (χ2 (5) = 12.085, p = 0.034). Multinomial logistic regression revealed an increasing age range (OR = 1.29; 95% CI, 1.09-1.54; P = 0.004), predictive of a positive mt-sDNA result for both groups. There was no significant difference between off-label or on-label groups in the mean number of resected polyps or pathology scores on follow-up colonoscopy. Conclusions Off-label mt-sDNA use remains a concern in the outpatient setting. Compliance for test completion and follow-up colonoscopy for positive results require further improvement. Our findings shed new light on the factors associated with off-label testing while reiterating its burden. We also describe common reasons for incomplete tests in an attempt to augment future colorectal cancer (CRC) screening initiatives.
Lazar NJ, Khreisat A, AlKloub R, Al-Hillan A, Duffy M. inappropriate multi-target stool dna use for colorectal cancer screening: risks, compliance, and outcomes. Cureus. 2023 Jun 16;15(6):e40506. doi: 10.7759/cureus.40506. PMID: 37397671.