Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UT MD Anderson debuts lung cancer screening program

30.06.2011
Experts mobilize after national clinical trial shows CT scanning reduces deaths by 20 percent

Current and former heavy smokers can now be screened more effectively for lung cancer. Results from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) revealed that detecting small lung cancers with computed tomography (CT) reduces lung cancer specific mortality by 20 percent.

Prior to the trial, lung cancer, often diagnosed in the later stages of the disease, had shown no benefit from screening because screening with standard chest X-rays did not detect cancers early enough. The trial, funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is the driving force behind a new program offered at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

MD Anderson's Lung Cancer Screening Program teams experts in thoracic surgery, radiology, pulmonary and clinical cancer prevention who have developed a step-by-step program to better detect, treat and educate high-risk individuals against lung cancer.

"Our program is unique because we do more than a comprehensive lung CT screening exam," said Therese Bevers, M.D., medical director of MD Anderson's Cancer Prevention Center. "We offer preventive options to help reduce their risk for cancer. Based on the findings from the screening lung CT, we guide people through the diagnostic evaluation and, if needed, treatment."

MD Anderson is offering screening to current or former smokers 50 years of age or older who have smoked the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes a day for at least 20 years. In addition to screening, the program offers access to other services through the Cancer Prevention Center, including risk assessment counseling for those found to not have lung cancer and low-cost tobacco cessation programs to help smokers quit.

MD Anderson's program is based on initial findings reported last fall from the NLST. The findings, scheduled to be published in the June 29 New England Journal of Medicine, revealed a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer deaths for participants who received the low-dose helical CT scan compared with those undergoing a standard chest X-ray.

Clinical Trial Results Add Weight

MD Anderson was one of 33 sites involved in the national trial and one of 10 sites that collected biomarkers to use in NLST secondary trials. More than 780 MD Anderson participants were enrolled in the trial. The trial randomized 53,000 current or former smokers - ages 55 to 74 - into two screening groups to compare and examine lung cancer mortality.

"This is a major finding for lung cancer patients and health care policy in the United States," said Reginald Munden, M.D., a professor in Department of Diagnostic Radiology and lead investigator at MD Anderson on the trial. "The goal of our lung cancer screening program is to improve the health of lung cancer patients."

Munden hopes the trial results will pique the interest of current smokers to join a smoking-cessation program. Because many former smokers are at a high risk for developing lung cancer, MD Anderson hopes to draw that population to the screening program as well. "We had a tremendous amount of interest in the trial when it first opened, and we anticipate there will be more people asking to be screened with the release of the trial findings," said Munden.

The Costs of Saving Lives

As promising as the findings are, not all smokers and former smokers are recommended for lung cancer screening. There are certain risks associated with screening, including radiation exposure and false positives that may require additional testing and discomfort.

"Now that we have scientific proof that screening a specific high-risk group can reduce mortality in lung cancer patients, the benefits of the screening outweigh the risks for those people," said Bevers, who was MD Anderson co-investigator on the national trial.

Cost can be a barrier to screening, because insurance companies do not cover the expense of lung cancer screening. Previous studies did not prove a benefit to X-ray screening. With the challenging economy and rising costs of medical care, the out-of pocket expense may deter some from getting screened, and the screening results could lead to further tests that may involve additional costs.

MD Anderson is charging $400 for a lung cancer screening, but experts consider this worth it if it will reduce the number of lung cancer deaths. "There are more costs associated with treating lung cancer," said Munden.

The trial also includes a cost-effective analysis. Researchers are comparing the cost of lung cancer care to the cost of covering lung cancer screening. "If the analysis demonstrates a reduction in the cost of lung cancer care, then the adaptation will be rapid," said Munden.

Results from the cost analysis are expected to be released later this year.

For more information about lung cancer screening, please visit the Cancer Prevention Center website.

To schedule an appointment, please contact askMDAnderson at 1-877-MDA-6789.

About MD Anderson

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. MD Anderson is one of only 40 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. For seven of the past nine years, including 2010, MD Anderson has ranked No. 1 in cancer care in "America's Best Hospitals," a survey published annually in U.S. News & World Report.

Katrina R. Burton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mdanderson.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>