Patients with lung cancer who have undergone a negative low-dose CT prevalence screening may have a lower incidence of lung cancer-specific mortality, according to a study published in The Lancet Oncology.1

In a retrospective cohort analysis of the randomized, multicenter National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), researchers led by Edward Patz Jr, MD, of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, looked at 19 066 patients who had received a low-dose CT prevalence T0 screen from a total of 26 231 observed patients.

Patients were followed-up for up to 5 years after their last annual screen while determining for frequency, stage, histology, study year of diagnosis, and incidence of lung cancer, as well as overall and lung cancer-specific mortality.

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The patients who received negative T0 screen were found to have a lower incidence of lung cancer than did all observed patients, as well as a lower rate of lung cancer-related mortality.

Additionally, the yield of lung cancer at the T1 screen among participants with a negative T0 screen was found to be 0.34% compared to a 1.0% yield among all T0-screened participants.

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“Because overly frequent screening has associated harms, increasing the interval between screens in participants with a negative low-dose CT prevalence screen might be warranted,” the authors concluded.


  1. Patz EF, Greco E, Gatsonis C, et al. Lung cancer incidence and mortality in National Lung Screening Trial participants who underwent low-dose CT prevalence screening: a retrospective cohort analysis of a randomised, multicentre, diagnostic screening trial [published online ahead of print March 18, 2016]. Lancet Oncol. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00621-X.