The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of annual screening for lung cancer by low-dose computed tomography (CT) and the characteristics of identified lung cancers. Subjects consisted of 5483 general population aged 40-74 years, who received initial CT scans in 1996, followed by repeat annual scans for most subjects in 1997 and 1998, with a total of 13 786 scans taken during 1996-1998. Work-up examinations for patients with suspicious lesions were conducted using diagnostic CTs. The initial screening in 1996 detected suspicious nodules in 279 (5.1%) of 5483 subjects, and 22 (8%) were confirmed surgically to have lung cancer. Corresponding figures in 1997 and 1998 screening studies were 173 (3.9%) of 4425 and 25 (14%) of 173, and 136 (3.5%) of 3878 and 9 (7%) of 136, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of detecting surgically confirmed lung cancer were 55% (22/40) and 95% (4960/5199) in 1996 and 83% (25/30) and 97% (4113/4252) in 1997 screening, respectively. 88% (55/60) of lung cancers identified on screening and surgically confirmed were AJCC stage IA. Our trial allowed detection of nearly 11 times the expected annual number of early lung cancers. Repeat CT allowed the detection of more aggressive, rapidly growing lung cancers, compared to those in the initial screening.
Copyright 2001 Cancer Research Campaign.