Lung Cancer Alliance Program Helps Investigate A New Approach For Measuring Lung Cancer Risk In Smokers And Non-Smokers
Washington, DC [Monday, June 29, 2010] --The
pilot program for Lung Cancer Alliance's (LCA) website for patient
donated scans is helping open the door to a potentially new method for
evaluating lung cancer risk in smokers as well as non-smokers.
In a paper published in the July issue of Academic Radiology,
researchers showed that a high resolution CT scan to check for
calcification in the lungs coupled with a pulmonary function test to
measure lung capacity could be used to numerically calculate an
individual's risk of developing lung cancer.
The research was based on an analysis of 108 patients
that participated in the University of Navarra lung cancer screening
study, which is participating in the International Early Lung Cancer
Action Program (I-ELCAP).
The study showed that a new approach to measuring lung
cancer risk using low dose CT and spirometry holds promise for current
and former smokers. The paper provides the first evidence that airway
bifurcations, which have been known to receive high amounts of toxic
exposure from cigarette smoke and environmental pollutants, are
exhibiting higher calcification in a relationship with a patient’s lung
An unanswered question resulting from this study is
whether the risk assessment approach will work for never smokers.
However, a CT dataset donated by a never smoker lung cancer patient to
LCA’s Give a Scan pilot project is offering initial anecdotal evidence
that the new risk assessment approach may help with lung cancer risk
assessment for individuals that have never smoked.
Give a Scan case number P0006 is a case of a never
smoker lung cancer patient with excellent lung function and extremely
high calcification levels at upper airway bifurcations. This signature
in CT and pulmonary function data was found to be associated with high
lung cancer risk, as reported in the Academic Radiology paper. Given
the potential to help identify high risk patients, the Give a Scan
P0006 data has been presented and discussed by researchers at several
international lung cancer conferences. Although further research and
clinical study is needed to determine the efficacy of the new lung
cancer risk assessment approach, Give a Scan data is helping drive
further study into the utility of a new approach for lung cancer risk
"While a lot more work has to be done to validate the
findings and develop an accurate test, this paper is an immediate
confirmation of the potential of the Give a Scan program and the power
patients themselves can have in driving research," said Laurie Fenton
Ambrose, LCA President & CEO.
Under the new Give a Scan program which was officially
launched this month, LCA maintains an open access website which houses
patient donated data that can be accessed by researchers around the
world at no charge.
While lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the
United States and world-wide, the persistent under funding of lung
cancer research has kept its survival rate of 15% near its historic low
of 13%, and mortality rate at 85% and deterred researchers from the
entering the field.
"With Give a Scan, patients are saying to the research
community: 'Here are our scans. Here is your raw material. Please help, '
" Fenton Ambrose said.
For more information about Give a Scan go to: www.lungcanceralliance.org/giveascan.