Dr. Rivera on the National Lung Screening Trial

M. Patricia Rivera, MD, professor of medicine, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses novel methods of detecting high-risk lung cancer.

M. Patricia Rivera, MD, professor of medicine, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses novel methods of detecting high-risk lung cancer.

There are investigational studies using molecular biomarkers for individuals who have nodules. If a CT scan locates a nodule, there are emerging molecular biomarkers that can help identify high-risk individuals, says Rivera.

The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) accrued 53,453 individuals at high risk for lung cancer. Individuals were randomized to 3 annual screenings with either low-dose CT or single-view posteroanterior chest radiography.

Findings showed that 25% of individuals who were screened with a CT scan were found to have a nodule, but 96% percent of those nodules were benign. The overwhelming majority of nodules detected on screening CTs are not cancer, so a lot of these patients may undergo unnecessary procedures. Biomarkers and genomic sequencing may help identify those individuals who may be more at risk and are likely to benefit from screening, says Rivera.

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