LUNGevity Applauds Results of Nationwide Study

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

                                                              MEDIA CONTACT:
Daniel Gregory
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dgregory@susandavis.com

LUNGevity Foundation finds significant promise in the National Cancer Institute’s National Lung Screening Trial

Noted lung cancer researchers comment on study

WASHINGTON (November 4, 2010) – LUNGevity Foundation joins the lung cancer community in applauding the findings of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), released today by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NLST’s results demonstrated that low-dose helical CT scans could profoundly advance our nation’s ability to detect lung cancer earlier and save significantly more lives.

The NLST was a nationwide study that screened participants using either the low-dose helical CT scan, more commonly known as spiral CT, or a standard chest X-ray. The study recorded twenty percent fewer lung cancer deaths among those screened with low-dose spiral CT.

“This is a critical first step in finding effective ways of diagnosing lung cancer, and it proves that early detection will save lives” said Andrea Stern Ferris, President of LUNGevity Foundation.  “The study focused on smokers, a population we know to be at risk.  We also know that African Americans, and members of the military are at greater risk, and we are finding increasing risk in young women who never have smoked.  

We desperately need the federal government and the private sector to join with the lung cancer community to find the critically needed funding for the research now underway that can change the way we diagnose and treat lung cancer.”

Lung cancer is the nation’s number one cancer killer. Over 200,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year and only 15 percent of them live longer than five years.  Government and corporate funding have often neglected lung cancer research, stymieing the type of detailed studies and promising results announced by the NCI today.

“The National Lung Screening Trial’s results could be one of the most significant advances in lung cancer research in the past thirty years,” said Dr. Nasser Altorki, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and member of the LUNGevity Scientific Advisory Board. “This 20 percent reduction in lung cancer mortality is even more impressive given the study design where the researchers compared two modalities of screening (CT vs. chest x-ray) rather than screening versus no screening”.

More than 53,000 men and women who met the NLST’s criteria for being considered former or current heavy smokers participated in the study. Researchers recruited the participants from 33 different sites across the nation. The participants received three annual screens from either the spiral CT scan or standard X-ray scan. Researchers then followed-up with participants up to five more years and recorded any deaths.

About LUNGevity Foundation

The mission of LUNGevity Foundation is to have a meaningful and immediate impact on improving lung cancer survival rates, ensure a higher quality of life for lung cancer patients, and provide a community for those impacted by lung cancer.

In order to accomplish its mission, LUNGevity funds the most promising research into the early detection and successful treatment of lung cancer as identified by its board of leading scientists. LUNGevity also supports the largest national grassroots lung cancer network.

LUNGevity seeks to inspire the nation to commit to ending lung cancer.

For more information, please visit www.lungevity.org.

About Lung Cancer

  • Lung cancer impacts 1 in 14 Americans and is the number one cancer killer.
  • About 65 percent of Americans diagnosed with lung cancer either never smoked a cigarette in their lives or had quit smoking.
  • Less than 15 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer survive 5 years post-diagnosis because of limited early detection opportunities.

There is no widely available, effective early diagnostic test available today.

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