Following the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) findings of the large-scale efficacy of lung cancer screening with CT, the newly opened University Hospital Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland said it will offer the test to smokers with physician referrals.
In November of 2010, the NCI cut short its National Lung Screening Trial of 53,000 heavy smokers, finding that the procedure was effective enough to warrant expedited implementation. Although lung CT has yet to be picked up by payors or receive formal guidelines for usage, University Hospital said it plans to offer the procedure to patients specifically referred by their physicians, with the ultimate aim of expanding screening to more high-risk older adults.
“CT lung cancer screening can be likened to a mammogram for lung cancer and has the potential to do what mammography has done for breast cancer—to make the disease more treatable by detecting tumors at earlier stages,” said Stan Gerson, MD, director of the University Hospital Seidman Cancer Center and professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, in Cleveland.
Lung cancer remains the number one cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., in large part because of a lack of methods for early detection.
University Hospital Seidman Cancer Center opened its doors in early June, making it Ohio’s only freestanding cancer hospital. The 150-bed NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center said its lung CT screening initiative will involve collaboration between oncologists, surgeons, radiologists and pulmonologists. The hospital expects to help save thousands of lives with its implementation of the NCI findings.