LUNGevity Foundation launches initiative to promote stronger adherence to lung cancer screening

Collaborative program to ensure more patients benefit from early detection tool

LUNGevity Foundation announced the launch of Project ACTS – Increasing Adherence to CT Screening for lung cancer – a multi-stakeholder project funded by a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation through their Bridging Cancer CareTM initiative. Project ACTS will develop and evaluate tools to promote stronger adherence to lung cancer screening protocols so that patients can fully benefit from potentially lifesaving CT screening.

Since 2013, the United States Preventive Services Task Force has recommended that people at high risk for lung cancer obtain a low-dose CT scan to detect lung cancer early, when it is most treatable. Currently, there are more than 1,600 American College of Radiology-accredited lung cancer screening centers in the US. However, studies indicate that as many as 45% of screening program participants may not receive appropriate follow-up after an abnormal scan. Through a multi-pronged approach including qualitative studies and the development and testing of engagement tools, Project ACTS seeks to increase the number of individuals who benefit from CT screening-based early detection, thereby saving thousands of lives.

Andrea Ferris, CEO of LUNGevity, said:

We are excited to further advance our focus on early detection by creating tools to ensure patients come back for a follow-up scan.  The National Lung Screening Trial paved the way to make CT screening available to individuals at high risk for lung cancer. Project ACTS complements the efforts of fellow lung cancer groups, such as the Lung Cancer Alliance, which are setting up Screening Centers of Excellence throughout the country. We thank Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation for funding this program, which will save lives.

The project is a collaborative effort between LUNGevity Foundation and health psychologist Dr. Jamie Studts from University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and health economist Dr. Margaret Byrne from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. “With Project ACTS, the investigative team will develop and begin to test an intervention toolkit that lung cancer screening programs can use to reduce non-adherence, an emerging challenge that could compromise the potential benefits of lung cancer screening on population health,” said Studts. The study team also includes world-renowned pulmonologists Dr. Pierre Massion from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and Dr. Peter Mazzone from Cleveland Clinic Foundation as clinician advisors. It is expected to start by the beginning of February 2018 and will involve the development of patient engagement tools that will provide accurate information about screening results and help individuals have meaningful discussions with their healthcare providers after their first CT scan, with the goal of supporting their efforts to return for follow-up scans.

“Lack of adherence to screening protocols can have dramatic effects for individuals who could have had disease detected at an earlier, more treatable stage,” said John Damonti, President of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “Project ACTS will address the patient engagement challenge to increase adherence to follow-up scans for high risk individuals. We are proud of what this partnership’s work will do to support patients in benefiting from potentially lifesaving screening.”

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