NLST Trial Halted; Low-dose CT Scans Reduce Lung Cancer Deaths | November 5 – Former and heavy smokers screened for lung cancer with low-dose helical CT are less likely to die of lung cancer than those screened with standard chest X-rays, according to initial results of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) released yesterday. Sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the largest randomized study of lung cancer screening in a high-risk population to date, the trial compared the effects of lung cancer screening with CT and X-ray on lung cancer mortality. It revealed 20% fewer lung cancer deaths among trial participants screened with low-dose helical CT.

In progress since 2002, the trial was halted this week after the trial’s independent oversight committee reached the conclusion that the data had provided a statistically convincing affirmative answer to the study’s primary question: Can CT screening reduce mortality associated with smoking?


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