Lung cancer screening with computer aided detection chest radiography: design and results of a randomized, controlled trial

PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59650. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059650. Epub 2013 Mar 20.


Introduction: The sensitivity of CT based lung cancer screening for the detection of early lung cancer is balanced by the high number of benign lung nodules identified, the unknown consequences of radiation from the test, and the potential costs of a CT based screening program. CAD chest radiography may improve the sensitivity of standard chest radiography while minimizing the risks of CT based screening.

Methods: Study subjects were age 40-75 years with 10+ pack-years of smoking and/or an additional risk for developing lung cancer. Subjects were randomized to receive a PA view chest radiograph or placebo control (went through the process of being imaged but were not imaged). Images were reviewed first without then with the assistance of CAD. Actionable nodules were reported and additional evaluation was tracked. The primary outcome was the rate of developing symptomatic advanced stage lung cancer.

Results: 1,424 subjects were enrolled. 710 received a CAD chest radiograph, 29 of whom were found to have an actionable lung nodule on prevalence screening. Of the 15 subjects who had a chest CT performed for additional evaluation, a lung nodule was confirmed in 4, 2 of which represented lung cancer. Both of the cancers were seen by the radiologist unaided and were identified by the CAD chest radiograph. The cumulative incidence of symptomatic advanced lung cancer was 0.42 cases per 100 person-years in the control arm; there were no events in the screening arm.

Conclusions: Further evaluation is necessary to determine if CAD chest radiography has a role as a lung cancer screening tool. identifier NCT01663155.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ohio / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity

Associated data