New CT data presented for early lung cancer detection

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New data from several studies evaluating new techniques for early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer were presented at the first European Multidisciplinary Conference on Thoracic Oncology (EMCTO) last week in Lugano, Switzerland.

"Developing better tools for distinguishing between lung cancer and other lung diseases will help us offer greater hope for patients," said Rudolf M. Huber, MD, from the University of Munich in Germany.

In one study presented at the conference, Italian researchers compared two CT techniques for diagnosing indeterminate lung lesions, finding that a form of SPECT imaging could offer an alternative method for diagnosis in situations where PET imaging is not available.

In another abstract, U.K. scientists reported that a new approach to diagnosis that ensures a patient has had a chest CT scan before they attend a clinic has the potential to reduce the time between their first abnormal chest x-ray and final diagnosis.

Also during the conference, investigators from Greece suggested that they may have found a new factor that will help indicate a patient's prognosis at the time of diagnosis. Their work indicates that the expression of specific cell-surface molecules on tumor cells correlates with clinical parameters. The results "could comprise a promising prognostic factor in lung carcinomas, thus presenting exciting possibilities for the future."

The EMCTO Conference is co-organized by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO), the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS).