Robert Van Haren, MD, MSPH College of Medicine University of Cincinnati

COVID-19 Caused Significant Disruption in Lung Cancer Screening Interview with:

Robert Van Haren, MD, MSPH College of Medicine University of Cincinnati

Dr. Van Haren

Robert Van Haren, MD, MSPH
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati What is the background for this study?

Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all areas of society including the field of oncology. This study evaluated the impact of COVID-19 on lung cancer screening.  Screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans are important because they reduce lung cancer mortality by at least 20%.  Our lung cancer screening program was closed in March 2020 due to COVID 19 and reopened again in June 2020.  We cancelled over 800 LDCTs during that time period. What are the main findings?

Response: After reopening, we found that new patients were less likely to get LDCT and more patients were likely to no-show for their LDCT.  Most importantly, we found increased number of lung nodules suspicious for lung cancer, and patients were more likely to be referred for biopsy or surgery What should readers take away from your report?

Response: COVID-19 caused significant disruption in lung cancer screening, leading to a decrease in new patients screened and an increased nodules suspicious for cancer.  This analysis shows the unrecognized consequences related to the pandemic for screening programs and cancer care. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Future research should focus on the patient education to promote screening activities such are lung cancer LDCT and to ensure it is safely performed during the ongoing COVID pandemic. 

Disclosures: Dr. Van Haren discloses a consultant relationship with Intuitive Surgery 


Robert M. Van Haren, Aaron M. Delman, Kevin M. Turner, Brandy Waits, Mona Hemingway, Shimul A. Shah, Sandra L. Starnes. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Lung Cancer Screening Program and Subsequent Lung Cancer. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Dec. 17, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2020.12.002



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Last Updated on December 17, 2020 by Marie Benz MD FAAD