|Pamela M. Marcus, Erik J. Bergstralh, Richard M. Fagerstrom, et al.|
|Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania|
| Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Reviewers: Li Liu, MD
Précis: Screening does not reduce long-term lung cancer mortality
IntroductionAt present, there is widespread acceptance that screening for the early detection of lung cancer is not indicated. The American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommend against efforts for early detection of lung cancer by mass screening (Ann Intern Med 1989 Aug 1;111(3):232-7). An early report of the Mayo Lung Project observed no reduction in lung cancer mortality with an intense screening regimen consisting of chest x-ray and sputum cytology. In this report, the researchers updated their results with extended follow-up and more participants.
MethodA total of 9211 male smokers were randomly assigned to either undergo a chest x-ray and sputum cytology every 4 months for 6 years (screening group) or were advised to have the same tests annually (usual care group).
DiscussionAfter an extended follow-up, the researchers of the Mayo Lung Project concluded that intense screening of smokers by chest x-ray and sputum cytology did not reduce the lung cancer mortality rate, but did appear to increase survival length. This study suggests that such screening may be identifying lung cancers earlier, but with limited clinical relevance.