Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

WCLC 2019: Comparison of Screening Methods for Those at Risk of Lung Cancer

By: Hillary Ojeda
Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2019

According to a study by Stephen Lam, MD, of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and colleagues, the widely validated and used lung cancer screening model PLCOm2012 detected more cancers than the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) model. Presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Barcelona (Abstract PL02.02), the results may have implications for how screening methods are used in the future for this patient population.

“Our analysis of [International Lung Screening Trial] data indicate that classification accuracy of lung cancer screening outcomes supports the PLCOm2012 criteria over the USPSTF criteria,” said Dr. Lam, in an IASLC press release.

A total of 5,013 people were screened in the multicentered International Lung Screening Trial in order to establish which of the two models would be more effective in screening at-risk patients for lung cancer over a 6-year period. The participants who met the models’ criteria received two annual screenings using either the PLCOm2012 model or the USPSTF model. The PLCOm2012 model recommends computed tomography screening for patients if they have a 6-year risk of more than 1.5%. The USPSTF method recommends screening for patients with the following eligibility criteria: smoked 30 pack-years or more, smoking within 15 years, and are between the ages of 55 and 80 years.

A total of 110 participants were found to have lung cancer. The PLCOm2012 model found 99% of the cancers, whereas the USPSTF found 77% of the cancers. Nearly 22% of cancers were found by PLCOm2012 alone, compared with 0.9% of cancers found by USPSTF criteria alone.

Disclosure:  The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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