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LCA Hails NCI Announcement on CT Scanning as Seminal Moment for the Lung Cancer Community

Washington, DC, [November 4, 2010]--Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) hailed today’s announcement by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) as a seminal moment for the lung cancer community.
 
“Now we have validation from the NCI that screening people at high risk for lung cancer with CT scans can significantly reduce mortality in lung cancer, which is causing more deaths each year than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined,” said Laurie Fenton-Ambrose, President & CEO of Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA).

James L. Mulshine, M.D., Associate Provost for Research and Vice President for Research at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL said: “With this positive trial result, we have the opportunity to realize the greatest single reduction of cancer mortality in the history of the war on cancer.”

The official announcement today by Harold Varmus, MD, director of the National Cancer Institute, stated that, “Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the U.S. and throughout the world, so a validated approach that can reduce lung cancer mortality by even 20 percent has the potential to spare very significant numbers of people from the ravages of this disease.”

The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) is a randomized controlled trial of more than 53,000 current and former smokers ages 55 to 74.  The trial, launched by NCI in 2002, was officially closed after the data analysis showed screening with low-dose helical computerized tomography (LDCT) reduced mortality from lung cancer relative to screening with chest x-ray (CXR) by 20 percent.

“We are grateful to NCI Director Dr. Harold Varmus for his leadership in disseminating this information so swiftly to the public, continued Fenton-Ambrose, and we are committed to working with him and the public health community to ensure that the necessary infrastructure and resources are in place to bring the benefit of early detection to those at high risk for the disease with the appropriate quality standards and guidelines.”

Mulshine added:  “This data along with a number of other positive recent early research findings is ample basis for the US Preventive Services Task Force to reconsider its position on the benefits of lung cancer screening, so we have the appropriate basis for refining public health policy.”

For complete results visit the NCI Website: http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/qa/2002/nlstqaQA.  

To read more about this announcement go to www.lungcanceralliance.org.  Lung Cancer Alliance is the only national organization providing patient support and advocacy exclusive to those either living with or at risk for lung cancer.  Lung Cancer Alliance is committed to reversing decades of stigma and neglect by empowering patients, elevating awareness and changing health policy.