IASLC takes proactive role in advancing lung cancer screening forward

Published on December 16, 2011 at 3:33 AM · No Comments

Findings published in Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) has taken a proactive role in advancing discussions with the international lung cancer community on how we should take lung cancer screening forward. The IASLC released an initial statement to the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) at the World Lung Cancer Conference in Amsterdam this April and also hosted a CT screening workshop with over 75 international experts in the field. The findings from this workshop are published in the Dec. 15, 2011 edition of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology titled, "International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Computed Tomography Screening Workshop 2011 Report."

This is a high priority for the IASLC since the National Lung Screening Trial found that lung cancer deaths fell by 20 percent when smokers were screened annually for three years using low-dose spiral computed tomography (LDCT) compared to standard chest x-ray. However, the research also found that nodules were detected in one-fourth of the patients screening and of those, 96 percent were not cancerous.

"The data from the NLST trial provides the first evidence that LDCT lung cancer screening can save lives and thus is the most encouraging data we have had on the international stage with respect this disease for many years," says Professor John Field, co-author of the study, chair of the IASLC Task Force on CT Screening and director of the lung cancer research program at the University of Liverpool Cancer Research Centre. "This is why we'll look at ongoing international trials which will provide further information on the outstanding issues before considering the implementation of national CT screening programs."

The IASLC has set up the Strategic CT Screening Advisory Committee (IASLC - SSAC) to define the optimal approaches to lung cancer screening. They will focus on six specific components of the lung cancer screening process including: (i) Identification of high risk individuals for lung cancer CT screening programs; (ii) Develop radiological guidelines for use in developing national screening programs; (iii) Develop guidelines for the clinical work-up of 'indeterminate nodules' resulting from CT screening programmers; (iv) Guidelines for pathology reporting of nodules from lung cancer CT screening programs; (v) Recommendations for surgical and therapeutic interventions of suspicious nodules identified through lung cancer CT screening programs; (vi) Integration of smoking cessation practices into future national lung cancer CT screening programs.

The members of the Strategic CT Screening Advisory Committee (IASLC - SSAC) are engaging international professional societies and organizations who are stakeholders in lung cancer CT to assemble information about best practices which may be utilized by individual nationals to suit their health care systems. Currently there are over twelve such international Stakeholders who wish to work with IASLC SSAC on this project.

"This is a high priority for the IASLC since strategic screening has the potential to change the face of lung cancer in the coming years," Field says.

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