Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study shows no survival benefit for CT screening for lung cancer

Death rates for smokers are not improved despite early diagnosis

The first report of an international study looking at computed tomography (CT) to screen current or former smokers for lung cancer found that screening did not reduce deaths from lung cancer. Although CT screening found nearly three times as many lung cancers as predicted, the researchers found that early detection and treatment did not lead to a corresponding decrease in advanced lung cancers or a reduction in deaths from lung cancer. The multi-center study, led by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, found no advantage to using CT screening on current or former smokers -- the population at highest risk for developing lung cancer. The findings appear in the March 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Ours is the first study to ask whether detecting very small growths in the lung by CT is the same as intercepting cancers before they spread and become incurable. We found an answer and it was, 'NO'," said Peter B. Bach, M.D., M.A.P.P., a lung physician and epidemiologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the study's first author. "Early detection and additional treatment did not save lives but did subject patients to invasive and possibly unnecessary treatments."

Beginning in 1998, 3246 asymptomatic men and women with a median age of 60 who had smoked or still smoked for an average of 39 years were screened for lung cancer with state-of-the-art multi-detector CT at either the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Florida, or the Instituto Tumori in Italy. Each study provided an initial CT scan and then at least three subsequent annual exams. The researchers followed the volunteers to see how many had cancers detected by screening and how many had surgery to remove them. They then used government death records to follow the study participants for five years to see if they died of lung cancer. The researchers compared what they saw to what statistical models predicted would happen without screening. The models were developed for this purpose by Dr. Bach and Colin B. Begg, Ph.D., Chairman of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and have been shown to be accurate in study populations like the ones analyzed.

Over the course of the studies, screening found more than three times as many lung cancers as the number that would have been diagnosed without screening, and there were ten times as many surgeries performed for lung cancer compared to what was expected. This meant that as a direct result of the test, an additional 99 people were diagnosed with lung cancer and an additional 98 had lung surgery. However, the early detection and treatment did not change the death rate. There were 38 deaths due to lung cancer, and 39 would have occurred without screening.

"The purpose of large-scale screening is to save lives, but after five years of follow-up, our data provides no evidence that CT screening prevented deaths from lung cancer," said Dr. Begg, the paper's senior author. "Our findings are consistent with the results of earlier studies of lung cancer screening with chest x-rays, which showed no benefit to this type of screening for current and former smokers."

CT screening is not without risk. The radiation can become significant when the scans are repeated every year. Because the test is not very specific, it is known to have false positive results, which can lead to additional CT scans at full radiation doses and invasive procedures like lung biopsies. This study also suggests CT screening can lead to additional major surgeries to remove very small growths that look like lung cancer but do not pose a meaningful threat to the patient's health.

"With lung cancer the number one cause of cancer deaths in the United States, the medical profession continues to seek an effective and safe approach to prevent deaths from this disease. According to our study, CT screening may not be it," said Dr. Bach.

Joanne Nicholas | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>