Lung Cancer Risk Calculator Improves CT Screening Efficiency and May Save Lives

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hormuzd A. Katki, PhD Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics National Cancer Institute National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services,  Bethesda, Maryland

Dr. Hormuzd Katki

Hormuzd A. Katki, PhD
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services,
Bethesda, Maryland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Katki: The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) showed that 3 annual CT screens reduced lung cancer death by 20% in a subgroup of high-risk smokers.  However, selecting smokers for screening based on their individual lung cancer risk might improve the effectiveness and efficiency of screening.  We developed and validated new lung cancer risk tools, and used them to project the potential impact of different selection strategies for CT lung cancer screening.

We found that risk-based selection might substantially increase the number of prevented lung cancer deaths versus current subgroup-based guidelines.  Risk-based screening might also improve the effectiveness of screening, as measured by reducing the number needed to screening to prevent 1 death.  Risk-based screening might also improve the efficiency of screening, as measured by reducing the number of false-positive CT screens per prevented death.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Dr. Katki: Selecting smokers for CT lung cancer screening by using a validated lung cancer risk calculation might lead to more effective and efficient screening than current subgroup-based selection guidelines.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Katki: Implementing risk-based precision screening is a big challenge.  Although researchers have developed many risk tools, they require further validation, especially to ensure they are accurate for US-population risks.  Much research remains to be conducted to develop and evaluate risk-based decision aids to communicate risk information to doctors and patients.  The goal is to develop a proven shared decision-making process that ensures that doctors and patients make good decisions about screening. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Katki: The big majority of lung cancer deaths are not screen-preventable at this time.  The best way for smokers to reduce their risk of death from lung cancer and other smoking-associated diseases is to quit smoking as soon as possible. Resources to quit smoking are available at NCI’s smokefree.gov.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Katki HA, Kovalchik SA, Berg CD, Cheung LC, Chaturvedi AK. Development and Validation of Risk Models to Select Ever-Smokers for CT Lung Cancer Screening.JAMA. Published online May 15, 2016. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.6255.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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