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National Lung Screening Trial

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) today launched a new study to determine if screening people with either spiral computerized tomography (CT) or chest X-ray before they have symptoms can reduce deaths from lung cancer. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) will enroll 50,000 current or former smokers and will take place at a total of 30 sites throughout the United States.

To carry out the trial, NCI is using two research networks funded by the Institute: one network has been conducting the lung screening study called the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial, and the other is the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN), a network of researchers who conduct imaging studies. In addition, NCI is collaborating with the American Cancer Society to organize grassroots recruitment efforts at NLST sites.

"NLST is important because there an estimated 90 million current and former smokers in the United States at high risk for lung cancer, and death rates for this disease, unlike many other cancers, have not declined," said NLST co-director John Gohagan, Ph.D., of NCI's Division of Cancer Prevention. "Lung cancer kills more people than cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, and pancreas combined and will claim nearly 155,000 lives this year. Our hope is that this study will lead to saving lives."

To help ensure that NLST reaches full enrollment quickly, the American Cancer Society will support NCI with targeted promotional and outreach efforts in communities surrounding the trial sites.

"Reducing lung cancer deaths is a high priority of the American Cancer Society," said Harmon Eyre, M.D., chief medical officer and executive vice president for research and cancer control of the American Cancer Society. "With a recognized commitment to saving lives from cancer, and a trusted local presence near each of the NLST sites, the Society is uniquely positioned to communicate the benefits of the tr
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