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NLST data highlight probability of lung cancer overdiagnosis with low-dose CT screening
Date:12/9/2013

ung cancer (all types and stages) detected by screening with LDCT is an overdiagnosis was reported as 18.5 percent. The probability that an LDCT-detected non-small cell lung cancerby far the most frequently diagnosed lung cancer typerepresents an overdiagnosis was found to be 22 percent. The overdiagnosis rate for bronchioloalveolar lung cancer was 78.9 percent.

Patz explains that the problem clinicians face is not knowing which patients are among the approximate 18 percent who have indolent disease. "Patients with these nonaggressive cancers are treated the same as any other patient with lung cancer, because it is generally not possible to distinguish indolent lesions from more aggressive tumors," says Patz. The authors emphasize the need for better biomarkers and imaging techniques to determine which lung cancers are more or less aggressive so as to optimize patient care and enhance the value of screening programs.

"Overdiagnosis is something we don't commonly think exists in lung cancer as compared with, for example, prostate cancer," says Patz. "Most often, when patients are diagnosed with lung cancer, it's viewed as a fatal disease. However, these data confirm that's not necessarily the case with screening programs, which is important information for clinicians to discuss with their patients."

"The relatively modest rate of overdiagnosis with low-dose CT compared with the overdiagnosis rate projected for other cancer screenings programs, further supports the implementation of lung cancer screening programs. Of course, it's important that we work to further drive down overdiagnosis rates across all screening programs," says Mitchell D. Schnall, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group and the Radiology Department Chair at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine.


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Contact: Shawn Farley
PR@acr.org
703-648-8936
American College of Radiology
Source:Eurekalert

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