Authors: John Gásdal Karstensen, Alanna Ebigbo, Hailemichael Desalegn, Mary Afihene, Gideon Anigbo, Giulio Antonelli, Purnima Bhat, Babatunde Duduyemi, Claire Guy, Uchenna Ijoma, Thierry Ponchon, Gabriel Rahmi, Lars Aabakken, Cesare Hassan, European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and World Endoscopy Organization
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major contributor to morbidity and cancer death globally with an increasing incidence also in low- and middle-income countries [1, 2]. However, CRC is preventable if precursor lesions are detected and treated [3, 4]. Throughout the world, national screening programs have been established that are aimed at the endoscopic detection and removal of polyps, as well as the diagnosis of cancers at an early stage [5, 6]. In addition to screening, diagnostic colonoscopy is crucial for investigation of symptoms. However, in resource-limited settings, screening programs might be absent, and the availability of colonoscopy might be limited by costs, travel distance, and lack of trained endoscopists. Furthermore, to achieve the full benefit of colonoscopy, detected lesions should be optimally removed to prevent recurrence and subsequent development of CRC, while avoiding adverse events (AEs) such as bleeding and perforation. This can be ensured with suitable training and mentoring programs and accompanied by guidelines developed with a generally high level of evidence [7–10]. Nevertheless, some recommendations within these guidelines include utilization of accessories that are costly and additionally require appropriate training to use safely. Hence, in a resource-limited setting, adherence to current guidelines for colonoscopy and polypectomy may be challenging.
In 2018, the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) and the World Endoscopy Organization (WEO) established an international working group with the aim of creating a set of guidelines amenable also in resource-sensitive communities . Consequently, a cascade methodology was introduced developing adapted recommendations for different levels of available resources. The cascade methodology has already been applied to guidelines for non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding, esophageal stenting, endoscopic treatment of variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding, as well as a guideline in conjunction with the World Gastroenterology Organization for resuming endoscopy after the COVID pandemic [12–15]. Based on the ESGE guideline by Ferlitsch et al, the aim of this cascade guideline is to propose recommendations for colorectal polypectomy and endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) in resource-limited settings .