Life-Gained-Based Selection Could Maximize the Benefits of Lung Cancer Screening

Selecting candidates for lung cancer screening could maximize the benefit of screening programs in the US, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

This model-based projection cohort study comprised 130,964 National Health Interview Survey participants, which represents approximately 60 million U.S. smokers during 1997 to 2015. The population of interest were all between the ages of 40 and 84. The study intervention was annual computed tomography (CT) screening for the duration of three years versus no screening. The researchers measured the estimated number of avoided lung cancer deaths and life-years gained utilizing a mortality model.

According to the results of the study, the analysis estimated that life-gained–based selection would augment the total life expectancy from CT screening (633,400 vs. 607,800 years) but prevent fewer lung cancer deaths (52,600 vs. 55,000) juxtaposed to risk-based selection. The researchers observed that 1.56 million individuals selected by the life-gained–based strategy were younger (mean age, 59 vs. 75 years) and had fewer comorbidities (mean, 0.75 vs. 3.7) than those in the risk-based group.

The researchers wrote about the study’s limitations that: “Estimates are model-based and assume implementation of lung cancer screening with short-term effectiveness similar to that from trials.”

In their conclusion, they added that: “Life-gained–based selection could maximize the benefits of lung cancer screening in the U.S. population by including ever-smokers who have both high lung cancer risk and long life expectancy.”