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

t signs, symptoms, or history of lung cancer. Pack-years are calculated by multiplying the average number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years a person has smoked.

The men and women were randomly assigned to receive three annual screens with either low-dose helical CT (often referred to as spiral CT) or standard chest X-ray. Helical CT uses X-rays to obtain a multiple-image scan of the entire chest during a 7 to 15 second breath-hold. A standard chest X-ray requires only a sub-second breath-hold but produces a single image of the whole chest in which anatomic structures overlie one another. Previous efforts to demonstrate that standard chest X-ray examinations can reduce lung cancer mortality have been unsuccessful.

The trial participants received their screening tests at the time of enrollment and at the end of their first and second years on the trial. The participants were then followed for up to another five years; all deaths were documented, with special attention given to the verification of lung cancer as a cause of death. As of October 20, 2010, a total of 354 deaths from lung cancer had occurred among participants in the CT arm of the study, whereas a significantly larger 442 lung cancer deaths had occurred among those in the chest X-ray group. This represents a 20.3 percent reduction in lung cancer mortality offered by CT scans compared to the X-ray group.

"Potentially, we could save thousands of lives with CT screening, but keep in mind that because smoking causes many lung cancers, we could save hundreds of thousands more if people wouldn't smoke or quit if they do," Isaacs points out.

"We're proud to be a part of this important study designed to answer critical questions," says Howard J. Federoff, MD, PhD, executive vice president for health sciences at GUMC and executive dean of its School of Medicine. "Lombardi's leadership role in the effort to reduce the burden of cancer has an impa
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
215-514-9751
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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