Low Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening Program Findings Similar to National Trial

August 14, 2018

Thorough prescreening evaluation is one critical element for a safe and successful lung cancer screening program.

An initial low dose computed tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screening program at the University of Florida in Gainesville yielded results similar to those of the National Lung Screening Trial, according to a study published in the journal Academic Radiology.

Researchers from the university performed a retrospective review to assess the initial results of the screening program, to discuss the challenges of implementing such a program, and suggest strategies for reducing patient dose.

The researchers reviewed data from 272 patients who underwent LDCT lung cancer screening at their institution between March 2015 and July 2016; 135 were women. The assessment included lung cancer detection rate, the spectrum of imaging findings (nodule or mass characteristics, degree of emphysema, etc.), and patient radiation dose indices.

The results showed a lung cancer detection rate of 2.2 percent (six patients). One patient underwent chemoradiation therapy. The remainder underwent uneventful thoracoscopic resection. Approximately 80 percent of screened patients met United States Preventative Services Task Force criteria for LDCT screening. The median pack-years of smoking was 42 pack-years. The mean volume CT dose index for the screening CTs was 3.12 mGy. Utilizing tube current modulation and iterative reconstruction, where available, resulted in lower patient doses.

The researchers concluded that their institution’s initial LDCT lung cancer screening yielded results similar to those of the National Lung Screening Trial. “Thorough prescreening evaluation, joint decision-making, centralized coordination of screening-related care, and patient size conscious scanning protocols are critical elements of a safe and successful lung cancer screening program,” they wrote.