Early detection is a preventive method that finds cancer in its earliest stages, when treatment offers the highest survival chances. For lung cancer, the only scientifically proven effective technique is the NELSON based low-dose CT examination. This test measures the growth rate of a nodule in the lungs and uses it as tumour marker, which ensures lung cancer is detected in its earliest stages.
To be eligible for early detection screening of lung cancer, a participant must be at high risk for this disease. At this moment, the risk of lung cancer is based on the number of pack-years of a participant (one pack-year is one pack of cigarettes a day for one year). Currently the guidelines vary somewhat in the number of pack-years needed to be eligible for lung cancer screening. New developments take more risk factors into account which will potentially extend eligibility beyond smokers, including risk factors such as air pollution. We constantly improve our protocol and procedures based on realworld data.
We will initiate lung cancer early detection with our European lung cancer screening trial: 4-IN-THE-LUNG-RUN. This trial will be performed at leading institutions in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France, and Italy, pending formal medical ethical approval procedures.