Screening Criteria Evaluation for Expansion in Pulmonary Neoplasias (SCREEN)

      The SCREEN study investigated screening eligibility and survival outcomes between heavy smokers and light-or-never-smokers with lung cancer to determine whether expanded risk factor analysis is needed to refine screening criteria. SCREEN is a retrospective study of 917 lung cancer patients diagnosed between 2005 and 2018 in Nova Scotia, Canada. Screening eligibility was determined using the National Lung Screening Trial (NSLT) criteria. Mortality risk between heavy smokers and light-or-never-smokers was compared using proportional-hazards models. The median follow-up was 2.9 years. The cohort was comprised of 179 (46.1%) female heavy smokers and 306 (57.8%) female light-or-never-smokers. Light-or-never-smokers were more likely to have a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma [n=378 (71.6%)] compared to heavy smokers [n=234 (60.5%); P< 0.001]. Heavy smokers were more frequently diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma [n=111 (28.7%)] compared to light-or-never-smokers, [n=100 (18.9%); P< 0.001]. Overall, 36.9% (338) of patients met NLST screening criteria. There was no difference in 5-year survival between light-or-never-smokers and heavy smokers [55.2% (338) vs 58.5% (529); P = 0.408; HR 1.06, 95% CI 0.80-1.40; P = 0.704]. Multivariate analysis showed that males had an increased mortality risk [HR 2.00 (95% CI 1.57-2.54); P< 0.001]. Half of lung cancer patients were missed with the conventional screening criteria. There were more curable, stage 1 tumors among light-or-never-smokers. Smoking status and age alone may be insufficient predictors of lung cancer risk and prognosis. Expanded risk factor analysis is needed to refine lung cancer screening criteria.

      Graphical Abstract


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      Linked Article

      • Commentary: Brutus, Cassius, the Stars, and the Lung Cancer Screening Criteria
        Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
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          Screening aims to discover early-stage lung cancer in high-risk people,1 healthy enough to undergo successful treatments while minimizing screening-related adverse effects.2 The US National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) discovered that low-dose computed tomography screening reduced lung cancer-specific mortality by 20%.3 After ten years of follow-up, this effectiveness was reaffirmed by the European Dutch–Belgian lung cancer screening trial (Nederlands–Leuvens Longkanker Screenings Onderzoek [NELSON]).
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