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National study shows CT screening of former, current smokers reduces lung cancer deaths
Date:11/5/2010

WASHINGTON, DC A large national study finds that screening current or former heavy smokers with a CT scan can reduce deaths from lung cancers by 20 percent. One potential reason for the reduction is that the scan can pick up tumors at an early stage. The study was conducted by the National Cancer Institute at 33 centers around the country including Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of Georgetown University Medical Center.

The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) involved more than 53,000 current and former heavy smokers ages 55 to 74. More than 1,800 men and women participated through Lombardi. The study compared the effects of two screening procedures for lung cancer -- low-dose helical computed tomography (CT) and standard chest X-ray.

Under Lombardi's leadership, 1,800 men and women were recruited into the clinical trial at Georgetown University Hospital as well as two other Georgetown community screening locations.

"Overall this study provides strong evidence that older patients who are at high-risk of developing lung cancer could benefit from CT screening and that's a significant finding." says Claudine Isaacs, MD, lead investigator of the NLST study at Lombardi. "We are grateful to all the men and women who participated in this important study. Clinical trials are critical to making progress in medicine."

"These results are very encouraging," says Louis Weiner, MD, director of Lombardi. "Studies like these generate so much excitement, but clearly there is much more work to be done. Lombardi and other NCI-cancer centers continue to explore effective ways to reduce lung cancer deaths including prevention efforts and by conducting clinical trials with the newest available cancer fighting drugs."

The NLST study began enrolling participants in August 2002. Participants were required to have a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years and were either current or former smokers withou
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
215-514-9751
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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