Screening for lung cancer using low dose CT scanning

MacRedmond R; Logan P M; Lee M; Kenny D; Foley C; Costello R W
March 2004
Thorax;Mar2004, Vol. 59 Issue 3, p237
Academic Journal
BACKGROUND: Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer related death in Ireland. The majority of lung cancers are inoperable at the time of diagnosis and consequently the overall 5 year survival is less than 10%. The objective of the ProActive Lung Cancer Detection (PALCAD) study was to evaluate whether low dose chest computed tomographic scanning (LDCCT) can detect early stage asymptomatic lung cancer in a high risk urban population. METHODS: Four hundred and forty nine subjects of median age 55 years (range 50-74) with a median pack year smoking history of 45 years (range 10-160), with no previous cancer history and medically fit to undergo thoracic surgery were recruited. After informed consent, LDCCT was performed on all subjects. Non-calcified nodules (NCNs) of >/=10 mm in diameter were referred for biopsy. Follow up with interval LDCCT at 6, 12 and 24 months to exclude growth was recommended for NCNs <10 mm in diameter. RESULTS: Six (1.3%) NCNs of >/=10 mm were detected of which one (0.23%) had non-small cell lung cancer stage 1; 145 NCNs of <10 mm were detected in 87 (19.4%) subjects. Mediastinal masses were detected in three subjects (0.7%)-one small cell lung cancer and two benign duplication cysts. Incidental pathology was noted in 276 patients (61.5%), most commonly emphysema and coronary artery calcification. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of resectable lung cancer detected by LDCCT at baseline screening was low at 0.23%, but there was a high rate of significant incidental pathology.


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