(HealthDay News) – Screening for Lynch syndrome, the most common form of inherited colorectal cancer, after a colorectal cancer diagnosis is common at comprehensive cancer centers but not community hospitals, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

To describe prevalent practices regarding immunohistochemistry (IHC) and microsatellite instability (MSI) reflex testing for Lynch syndrome after a colorectal cancer diagnosis, Laura C. Beamer, PhD, from City of Hope in Duarte, CA, and colleagues surveyed 39 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers (NCI-CCCs), 50 American College of Surgeons-accredited Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Programs (COMPs), and 50 Community Hospital Cancer Programs (CHCPs). The overall response rate for all centers and programs was 50%.

The researchers found that reflex testing was conducted by 71% of NCI-CCCs, 36% of COMPs, and 15% of CHCPs. Of these, 48% used IHC, 14% used MSI, and 38% used both. None of the institutions required written consent, one used a presurgical information packet, and four offered an opt-out option.

“Although most NCI-CCCs use reflex IHC/MSI to screen for Lynch syndrome, this practice is not well-adopted by community hospitals,” Beamer and colleagues conclude. “These findings may indicate an emerging standard of care and diffusion from NCI-CCCs to community cancer programs.”

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