UCLA seeks thousands of current and former smokers for landmark lung cancer screening trial

Advances in imaging may allow physicians to detect smaller lung cancers than ever before. But does screening for lung cancer before symptoms appear using either conventional X-rays or the latest in imaging technology, such as low-dose spiral computerized tomography (CT), actually reduce lung cancer deaths?

On Sept. 18 researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center and nationwide are launching the National Lung Screening Trial to find out.

A joint study of the American College of Radiology Imaging Network and the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian cancer screening trial, the National Lung Screening Trial is the largest clinical trial ever funded by the National Cancer Institute for lung cancer screening. Nationwide, the study seeks to enroll 50,000 healthy current or former smokers at risk of lung cancer. The trial is being conducted at UCLA and 29 other sites across the country, seeking to determine which screening test, chest X-ray or chest CT is more effective at reducing lung cancer deaths.

At UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, the only California site presently offering the screening study, researchers hope to enroll 2,000 to 4,000 current and former smokers within the next 18 months.

"This is the first national trial of this scale designed to determine which screening test will better reduce lung cancer mortality," said Dr. Denise Aberle, the trial's national principal investigator, lead investigator at UCLA and a researcher at the Jonsson Cancer Center. "Our hope is that this study will lead to saving lives."

Lung cancer kills more Americans every year than breast, prostate, colon and pancreas cancers combined, and is responsible for about 28 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States. This year alone, more than 169,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer. Of those, 154,900 will die, according to the American Cancer Society. And yet, there is currently no standard approach to lung cancer screening, Aberle sai

Contact: Kim Irwin
University of California - Los Angeles

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