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

ences in lung cancer deaths between those receiving chest X-rays and those receiving a CT scan. Study participants will be randomly assigned to either the chest X-ray group or the spiral CT group. Each volunteer will receive a baseline screening and two additional annual screenings using the same test, either X-ray or CT. All participants will be followed for an additional six to eight years at six- to 12-month intervals to watch for any changes in their health status.

"This study is important because there are more than 90 million current and former smokers in the U.S. at high risk for lung cancer. And death rates for this disease, unlike many other cancers, have not declined," said John Gohagan, a researcher in the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Prevention and the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian cancer/National Lung Screening Trial project officer. "Cigarette smoking is by far the most important risk factor in the development of lung cancer."

Dr. Harmon Eyre, the American Cancer Society's chief medical officer and executive vice president for research and cancer control, underscored the importance of the study.

"Reducing lung cancer deaths is a high priority for us," Eyre said. "We are committed to helping the National Cancer Institute reach full enrollment in this study as soon as possible."

National Lung Screening Trial study volunteers will receive their screenings free. To qualify, volunteers need to meet these requirements:

  • Are current or former smokers aged 55 to 74.
  • Have never had lung cancer and have not had any cancer within the last five years.
  • Are not currently enrolled in any other cancer screening or prevention trial.
  • Have not had a CT scan of the chest or lungs within the last 18 months.

In addition to the lung cancer screening study, some of the sites, including UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, also will be analyzing other critical measures of the effect

Contact: Kim Irwin
University of California - Los Angeles

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