Colorectal Cancer Surveillance: What Is the Optimal Frequency of Follow-up and Which Tools Best Predict Recurrence?

Michele M. Gage, Matthew T. Hueman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Up to 50% of patients with stage II or III colon cancer are estimated to develop locoregional recurrence, distant metastasis, or metachronous colon cancers within 5 years of initial treatment. Given the high risk of recurrence, surveillance is critical, but what is the optimal frequency and testing of surveillance, and is it possible to tailor surveillance plans based on risk prediction tools? Recent Findings: We reviewed the current national guidelines from 6 reputable oncologic organizations, as well as 10 randomized controlled trials and numerous meta-analyses in the last 22 years evaluating more intensive to less intensive surveillance to answer this question. Currently available adjunct testing, such as genomic testing, and risk calculators were also evaluated. Summary: Overall, high-frequency surveillance, to a limit, has been established as superior to less frequency surveillance. Future research will likely demonstrate evidence for adjunct testing for personalized surveillance screening based on individual recurrence risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-324
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Colorectal Cancer Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Colorectal cancer follow-up
  • Colorectal cancer management
  • Colorectal cancer recurrence
  • Colorectal cancer recurrence risk
  • Colorectal cancer surveillance


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