Background: Three lung cancer (LC) models have recently been constructed to predict an individual's absolute risk of LC within a defined period. Given their potential application in prevention strategies, a comparison of their accuracy in an independent population is important.
Methods: We used data for 3197 patients with LC and 1703 cancer-free controls recruited to an ongoing case-control study at the Harvard School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital. We estimated the 5-year LC risk for each risk model and compared the discriminatory power, accuracy, and clinical utility of these models.
Results: Overall, the Liverpool Lung Project (LLP) and Spitz models had comparable discriminatory power (0.69), whereas the Bach model had significantly lower power (0.66; P=0.02). Positive predictive values were highest with the Spitz models, whereas negative predictive values were highest with the LLP model. The Spitz and Bach models had lower sensitivity but better specificity than did the LLP model.
Conclusion: We observed modest differences in discriminatory power among the three LC risk models, but discriminatory powers were moderate at best, highlighting the difficulty in developing effective risk models.