publication date: Jul. 10, 2020

USPSTF broadens age range, risk threshold in new recommendation for lung cancer screening

By Matthew Bin Han Ong

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended expanding the eligible age range and broadening the risk threshold for annual low-dose CT screening for lung cancer.

draft published July 7 recommends screening for people ages 50 to 80 years, who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

This update would replace the Task Force’s 2014 guideline, which recommends annual screening for lung cancer with LDCT in adults ages 55 to 80 years, who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

The draft maintains a “B” grade for the recommendation (The Cancer Letter, Aug. 2, Aug. 9, 2013; March 21, May 9, Nov. 14, 2014).

The draft is open for public comment through Aug. 3.

The change reflects the evolving evidence on the benefits of lung cancer screening, especially taking into consideration new data from the NELSON trial, as well as data on underrepresented minorities, i.e. women and African Americans.

“NELSON enrolled younger smokers, lighter smokers, and still showing a statistically significant and respectable benefit in terms of a reduction in lung cancer mortality. That was probably the most important piece of evidence for those two changes,” said Michael J. Barry, a member of the Task Force, and director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program in the Health Decision Sciences Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“As another benefit, because women and African Americans tend to be … Continue reading USPSTF broadens age range, risk threshold in new recommendation for lung cancer screening

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