publication date: Jul. 10, 2020

Conversation with The Cancer Letter

USPSTF’s Michael Barry: Recommendation on lung cancer screening aims to reduce mortality


Michael J. Barry, MD

Member, United States Preventive Services Task Force;

Director, Informed Medical Decisions Program, Health Decision Sciences Center, Chief, General Medicine Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital;

Professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School



By making lung cancer screening available to a larger population, the new guideline from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force could save an additional 120 lives per 100,000 Americans, said Michael J. Barry, a member of the Task Force, and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The draft recommendation, issued July 7, updates an earlier 2014 guideline by changing  the age range for screening from ages 55-80 to 50-80, as well as the risk threshold from 30 pack-years to 20 pack-years.

In the draft guideline, lung cancer screening receives a “B” from USPSTF—the same grade it had before.

“If we think about a cohort of 100,000 Americans at age 45, and that would be everybody with the race, ethnic and gender distribution from the United States population, as well as the distributions of smoking histories, because that 100,000 would include non-smokers and former smokers, as well as current smokers,” Barry, who is also director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program in the Health Decision Sciences Center and chief of the General Medicine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, said to The Cancer Letter.

“If we follow that group … Continue reading USPSTF’s Michael Barry: Recommendation on lung cancer screening aims to reduce mortality

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