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The Atlanta Research & Education Foundation is designed to facilitate collaborations between the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Atlanta and other institutions. We welcome your interest in our facility, personnel, and research capabilities.

Working with the larger research community, AREF is one of the leading foundations in the country devoted to improving research, education, and ultimately healthcare for our nation's Veteran population.

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Investigator: Todd Fibus
Phone: (404) 321-6111 ext. 6745
Primary Research Interest: Radiology
Description of Research: Our goal is to assess the performance and acceptability of CTC in a clinical population of U.S. veterans. We will gather data during the routine performance of clinical CTC at the Atlanta VA Medical Center including patient demographics, incidence of colonic and extracolonic findings, and other performance characteristics of the procedure including complications. In collaboration with other facilities and using the CT Colonography Reporting and Data Systems (C-RADS), we will review our combined data to assess both efficacy and safety of the procedure for this population.
Relevance to VA: Colon cancer is the third most frequent diagnosed malignancy in the United States country and the second most common cause of cancer deaths. The current standard of care for diagnosing and removing precancerous polyps is colonoscopy. The procedure has numerous disadvantages that contribute to low screening rates. Screening of the colon through high-resolution computed tomography, or CT colonography (CTC), is an alternative method for colon cancer screening that offers a number of advantages over colonography, most notably it requires no sedation, is essentially non-invasive, and can visualize the entire lower bowel. Despite extensive published clinical experience with CTC, the procedure has not yet been deemed an acceptable alternative to colonoscopy by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. However, in light of the substantial burden of disease among U.S. veterans and concerns that the growing number of beneficiaries requiring screening will exceed capacity for colonoscopy, the Veterans Administration has determined procedure can be used to screen U.S. veterans for colon cancer.

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