Charles Owen, MD: An Overview on Cologuard at DDW

May 23, 2021
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

About a quarter of Cologuard's ordered by patients are deemed to be inappropriate.

Only about 66% of Cologuard testing ordered by gastroenterologists was appropriate, according to new data presented at the 2021 Digital Disease Week (DDW) Virtual Meeting.

A team, led by Charles C. Owen, Texas Digestive Diseases Consultants, examined data from Cologuard tests ordered by providers and the indications, appropriateness of use, and adenoma and adenocarcinoma rates with both positive and negative test results.

Overall, the test was inappropriately ordered by 35.9% of patients, 73% of which ordered by physician discretion, including patients not yet due for screening with past histories of colorectal adenoma or adenocarcinoma, with family histories of colorectal cancer, for symptoms including weight loss, hematochezia, abdominal pain, for heme-positive stools, for IBD surveillance, and in patients older than 85 years old.

The remaining 27% were ordered because of patient insistence, with similar indications as to the physician-discretion group.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Owen explained the results and how the study could drive some changes in clinical practice.

Owen also explained why some Cologuard tests are inappropriately ordered and how concerning is it that some colorectal screenings may have been missed or delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic.