In an arcane but interesting article in Lancet Oncology, researchers from the University of Wisconsin and the Uniformed Services Medical School have measured colon polyps three-dimensionally to assess their growth rate. It has been postulated for years that polyps grow more slowly than colon cancers, but this article is proof. In their series of 23 polyps with malignant potential (they did not include benign polyps in this study) the median volumetric doubling time was 17 months, with a range of 8 months to 3.5 years. A couple of polyps at either end were outliers and are omitted for purposes of this discussion. Since the average colon cancer is thought to double in volume once a year, it is clear that most polyps grow more slowly than that, but not all. These data may prove useful in the courtroom, where attorneys argue about how long a colon lesion has been there, and when it was possible to see it by colonoscopy or colonography. It is likely that once this article gets a bigger play it will be a factor in courtroom debates about the natural history of colon cancer. As a stand-alone scientific work it seems to Dr. Stark to have little other value.
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Blog & Articles
- Lung Cancer 2014: The New Paradigm; then on to 2020 Posted on 20 Aug, 2014
- Dr. Stark on Causation in Cancer Cases Posted on 21 Oct, 2013
- A Blood Clotting Catastrophe: the denoument Posted on 22 Jun, 2013