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New Questions Raised About Lung Cancer Screening
Date:10/1/2008

Impartial Audit of Research Data Is Needed, Says Editor of "The Oncologist"

DURHAM, N.C., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to new concerns about a study supporting the use of computed tomography (CT) screening to detect early-stage lung cancer in smokers and other people at risk, the Editor-in-Chief of "The Oncologist" has called for an independent audit of the research data.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080627/CLF051LOGO )

" ... the results of this key lung cancer prevention trial, heralded as evidence for the value of CT screening for lung cancer, have become increasingly ambiguous, a situation that can be dispelled only by auditing the trial," writes Dr. Bruce A. Chabner in an editorial.

Controversy has emerged regarding the International Early Lung Cancer Action Project (I-ELCAP) study, originally published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2006. Lead researcher Dr. Claudia Henschke of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, concluded that annual CT screening improves the chances of survival for patients with early-stage lung cancer.

Dr. Henschke believes her findings support annual CT scans for early detection of lung cancer in people at increased risk -- especially smokers. She has stood by her conclusions in the face of controversies regarding errors in patient enrollment, her undisclosed relationship with a major CT manufacturer, and the revelation that the study was partially funded by a tobacco company.

Dr. Chabner's call for an audit is prompted by a letter to the editor by Dr. Peter B. Bach of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, also published by "The Oncologist." Dr. Bach points out an apparent irregularity in the way the I-ELCAP researchers calculated the survival benefit of CT screening. Specifically, while the original 2006 paper included data on eight "untreated subjec
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SOURCE AlphaMed Press
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