Non smokers should also be screened for lung cancer: IASLC
Delhi: Nonsmokers should also be screened for lung cancer, according to a recent study. The study finds that regular CT lung cancer screening is beneficial for nonsmokers as much as for heavy smokers, especially in people having a family history of the disease.
The findings of the study were presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's (IASLC) World Conference on Lung Cancer in Singapore on January 30, 2021.
The results show that in countries like Taiwan, many patients who developed lung cancer had never smoked -- in fact, 53% of those who die of the disease there do not smoke, the IASLC said in a statement. In such cases, screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) can be effective.
The study revealed that LDCT screening for lung cancer in never-smokers at high risk may be feasible, which is very important considering the increasing global threat for lung cancer.
Pan-Chyr Yang, the National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, shared data from the Taiwan Lung Cancer Screening for Never Smoker Trial (TALENT), conducted in part to develop a risk-prediction model that would identify those who could benefit from CT lung cancer screening. The study included 12,011 participants enrolled between February 2015 and July 2019.
Participants were between 55 and 75 and had never smoked, although they had at least one risk factor for lung cancer, such as family history of the disease, passive smoking exposure, tuberculosis or chronic pulmonary disease, or absence of ventilation during cooking.
Key findings of the study include:
· 50% had a family history of lung cancer.
· 17.4% showed findings indicative of disease on screening.
· 3.3% underwent lung biopsies or surgeries.
· 2.6% were diagnosed with lung cancer.
- 96.5% of the patients were diagnosed with early stage disease (0 or 1).
- The prevalence of lung cancer was 3.2% among participants with a family history of the disease and 2% in those with no family history.
- Lung cancer risk increased as the number of first-degree relatives with the disease increased, from 3.1% among those with one relative with lung cancer to 9.1% among those with four relatives with it.
"The TALENT study confirmed the effectiveness of LDCT screening in a predefined, never smoker, high risk population," they wrote. "The T0 lung cancer detection rate was 2.6%, which was even higher than the NLST study (1.1%) and NELSON study (0.9%)."
Yang and colleagues plan to develop a lung cancer risk score predictor that takes family history and genetic and environmental factors into account that will help establish a standard screening protocol for Taiwan.
"We hope the screening program can benefit patients suffering from lung cancer, especially in those countries with high incidence of lung cancer in never [smokers]," Yang said in the IASLC statement.