Washington, Nov 5 (ANI): Scientists have found that screening for lung cancer using helical CT scanning reduced lung cancer deaths by 20 percent compared to using chest X-rays.
The study was announced by the National Cancer Institute, researchers including Brown University biostatistian Constantine Gatsonis and his colleagues.
"The findings we're announcing today offer the first definitive evidence for the effectiveness of helical CT screening smokers for lung cancer, " said Gatsonis, a lead biostatistician in the study.
"This is a major step in the formulation of appropriate screening strategies for this deadly disease," he said.
The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) was conducted by a consortium consisting of ACRIN and the Lung Screening Study (LSS).
The consortium enrolled more than 53,000 current and former heavy smokers ages 55 to 74 into the NLST at 33 sites across the United States. Starting in August 2002, participants were enrolled during a 20-month period and randomly assigned to receive three annual screens with either low-dose helical CT (often referred to as spiral CT) or standard chest X-ray.
Helical CT uses X-rays to obtain a multiple-image scan of the entire chest compared to a standard chest X-ray that produces a single image of the whole chest in which anatomic structures overlie one another.
A secondary finding in the study showed overall deaths due to any factor, including lung cancer, were 7 percent lower in those screened with low-dose helical CT than in those screened with chest X-ray.
The study appears on the Web site of the journal Radiology. (ANI)