Development and Validation of a Multivariable Lung Cancer Risk Prediction Model That Includes Low-Dose Computed Tomography Screening Results: A Secondary Analysis of Data From the National Lung Screening Trial

JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Mar 1;2(3):e190204. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.0204.


Importance: Low-dose computed tomography lung cancer screening is most effective when applied to high-risk individuals.

Objectives: To develop and validate a risk prediction model that incorporates low-dose computed tomography screening results.

Design, setting, and participants: A logistic regression risk model was developed in National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) Lung Screening Study (LSS) data and was validated in NLST American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) data. The NLST was a randomized clinical trial that recruited participants between August 2002 and April 2004, with follow-up to December 31, 2009. This secondary analysis of data from the NLST took place between August 10, 2013, and November 1, 2018. Included were LSS (n = 14 576) and ACRIN (n = 7653) participants who had 3 screens, adequate follow-up, and complete predictor information.

Main outcomes and measures: Incident lung cancers occurring 1 to 4 years after the third screen (202 LSS and 96 ACRIN). Predictors included scores from the validated PLCOm2012 risk model and Lung CT Screening Reporting & Data System (Lung-RADS) screening results.

Results: Overall, the mean (SD) age of 22 229 participants was 61.3 (5.0) years, 59.3% were male, and 90.9% were of non-Hispanic white race/ethnicity. During follow-up, 298 lung cancers were diagnosed in 22 229 individuals (1.3%). Eight result combinations were pooled into 4 groups based on similar associations. Adjusted for PLCOm2012 risks, compared with participants with 3 negative screens, participants with 1 positive screen and last negative had an odds ratio (OR) of 1.93 (95% CI, 1.34-2.76), and participants with 2 positive screens with last negative or 2 negative screens with last positive had an OR of 2.66 (95% CI, 1.60-4.43); when 2 or more screens were positive with last positive, the OR was 8.97 (95% CI, 5.76-13.97). In ACRIN validation data, the model that included PLCOm2012 scores and screening results (PLCO2012results) demonstrated significantly greater discrimination (area under the curve, 0.761; 95% CI, 0.716-0.799) than when screening results were excluded (PLCOm2012) (area under the curve, 0.687; 95% CI, 0.645-0.728) (P < .001). In ACRIN validation data, PLCO2012results demonstrated good calibration. Individuals who had initial negative scans but elevated PLCOm2012 six-year risks of at least 2.6% did not have risks decline below the 1.5% screening eligibility criterion when subsequent screens were negative.

Conclusions and relevance: According to this analysis, some individuals with elevated risk scores who have negative initial screens remain at elevated risks, warranting annual screening. Positive screens seem to increase baseline risk scores and may identify high-risk individuals for continued screening and enrollment into clinical trials.

Trial registration: Identifier: NCT00047385.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Early Detection of Cancer* / methods
  • Early Detection of Cancer* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment* / methods
  • Risk Assessment* / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*

Associated data