Researchers are working on developing effective methods to screen for lung cancer. Several lung cancer screening methods being studied include tests of sputum (mucus brought up from the lungs by coughing), chest x-rays, and spiral (helical) CT scans. Currently neither chest x-rays or sputum tests have been shown to be effective screening methods. However, screening with low-dose spiral CT scans has been shown to decrease the risk of dying from lung cancer in heavy smokers.
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Lung Cancer Screening Summary
The list below shows clinical trials for lung cancer screening in NCI’s list of cancer clinical trials that are now enrolling participants. The list of clinical trials can be refined by location and other features.
Research About Lung Cancer Screening
- NIH-funded study shows 20 percent reduction in lung cancer mortality with low-dose CT compared to chest X-ray:
Scientists have found a 20 percent reduction in deaths from lung cancer among current or former heavy smokers who were screened with low-dose helical computed tomography (CT) versus those screened by chest X-ray.
- National Lung Screening Trial (NLST)
A collection of material about the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), a research study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute that used low-dose helical CT scans or chest X-ray to screen men and women at risk for lung cancer.
- NLST Study Guide
A guide for patients and physicians to help them assess the benefits and harms of low-dose helical CT scans for lung cancer.
- Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial
A large-scale clinical trial to determine whether certain cancer screening tests reduce deaths from prostate, lung, colorectal, and ovarian cancer. In addition, there are numerous epidemiologic and ancillary studies going on that will answer other crucial questions about these cancers and these screening tests.