11/4/10 – The National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced major findings today from the National Lung Screening Test (NLST), a large national study, exploring whether low-dose helical CT scans vs. conventional chest X-ray reduced mortality from lung cancer.
NLST researchers found 20 percent fewer lung cancer deaths among trial participants screened with CT. An additional finding, which was not the main endpoint of the trial’s design, showed that all-cause mortality (deaths due to any cause, including lung cancer) was 7 percent lower in those screened with CT relative to those screened with chest X-ray. Because this data is preliminary, the researches are not yet making any recommendations as a result of the findings. Specifically, they are not currently recommending that any member of any age or smoking population seek a CT scan or chest X-ray for the purpose of screening for lung cancer.
The Medical University of South Carolina was chosen as one of the 30+ screening sites when the study began in 2002. MUSC’s research team was lead by James Ravenel, MD, (MUSC’s Principle Investigator in the study) and Philip Costello, MD, chair of the Department of Radiology. MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is an NCI-designated research center.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in South Carolina – more than all breast, prostate, and colon cancers combined. Learn more about the Lung Cancer Program at Hollings Cancer Center.