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Original Investigation |

Development and Validation of Risk Models to Select Ever-Smokers for CT Lung Cancer Screening

Hormuzd A. Katki, PhD1; Stephanie A. Kovalchik, PhD2; Christine D. Berg, MD1,3; Li C. Cheung, MS4; Anil K. Chaturvedi, PhD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland
2Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
3Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
4Information Management Services Inc, Calverton, Maryland
JAMA. 2016;315(21):2300-2311. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.6255.
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Importance  The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends computed tomography (CT) lung cancer screening for ever-smokers aged 55 to 80 years who have smoked at least 30 pack-years with no more than 15 years since quitting. However, selecting ever-smokers for screening using individualized lung cancer risk calculations may be more effective and efficient than current USPSTF recommendations.

Objective  Comparison of modeled outcomes from risk-based CT lung-screening strategies vs USPSTF recommendations.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Empirical risk models for lung cancer incidence and death in the absence of CT screening using data on ever-smokers from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO; 1993-2009) control group. Covariates included age; education; sex; race; smoking intensity, duration, and quit-years; body mass index; family history of lung cancer; and self-reported emphysema. Model validation in the chest radiography groups of the PLCO and the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST; 2002-2009), with additional validation of the death model in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS; 1997-2001), a representative sample of the United States. Models were applied to US ever-smokers aged 50 to 80 years (NHIS 2010-2012) to estimate outcomes of risk-based selection for CT lung screening, assuming screening for all ever-smokers, yield the percent changes in lung cancer detection and death observed in the NLST.

Exposures  Annual CT lung screening for 3 years beginning at age 50 years.

Main Outcomes and Measures  For model validity: calibration (number of model-predicted cases divided by number of observed cases [estimated/observed]) and discrimination (area under curve [AUC]). For modeled screening outcomes: estimated number of screen-avertable lung cancer deaths and estimated screening effectiveness (number needed to screen [NNS] to prevent 1 lung cancer death).

Results  Lung cancer incidence and death risk models were well calibrated in PLCO and NLST. The lung cancer death model calibrated and discriminated well for US ever-smokers aged 50 to 80 years (NHIS 1997-2001: estimated/observed = 0.94 [95%CI, 0.84-1.05]; AUC, 0.78 [95%CI, 0.76-0.80]). Under USPSTF recommendations, the models estimated 9.0 million US ever-smokers would qualify for lung cancer screening and 46 488 (95% CI, 43 924-49 053) lung cancer deaths were estimated as screen-avertable over 5 years (estimated NNS, 194 [95% CI, 187-201]). In contrast, risk-based selection screening of the same number of ever-smokers (9.0 million) at highest 5-year lung cancer risk (≥1.9%) was estimated to avert 20% more deaths (55 717 [95% CI, 53 033-58 400]) and was estimated to reduce the estimated NNS by 17% (NNS, 162 [95% CI, 157-166]).

Conclusions and Relevance  Among a cohort of US ever-smokers aged 50 to 80 years, application of a risk-based model for CT screening for lung cancer compared with a model based on USPSTF recommendations was estimated to be associated with a greater number of lung cancer deaths prevented over 5 years, along with a lower NNS to prevent 1 lung cancer death.

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Figure.
Five-Year Modeled Outcomes From Different Risk-Based CT Lung Cancer Screening Strategies in US Ever-Smokers Aged 50 to 80 Years

As an example of a screening strategy (highlighted data), a lung cancer risk threshold of 0.7% and a lung cancer death threshold of 0.4% are estimated to screen 49% (21 million) of ever-smokers aged 50 to 80 years, prevent 90% (74 021) of preventable deaths over 5 years, screen 287 people to prevent 1 death, result in 185 false-positive computed tomography (CT) screening examinations per prevented death, and diagnose 0.94 extra lung cancers per prevented death. Data markers indicate data points for current US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recommendations, but the only axis data that apply to these 2 points are the estimated number of prevented deaths over 5 years and preventable lung cancer deaths over 5 years (vertical) and the estimated number and percent of ever-smokers screened (horizontal). USPSTF recommendations are estimated to screen 9.0 million (21%) of ever-smokers aged 50 to 80 years, might prevent 46 488 lung cancer deaths over 5 years (57% of the preventable deaths), screen 194 people to prevent 1 death, result in 133 false-positive CT screening examinations per prevented death, and diagnose 0.93 extra lung cancers per prevented death. CMS recommendations are estimated to screen 8.7 million (20%) of ever-smokers aged 50 to 80 years, might prevent 41 559 lung cancer deaths over 5 years (51% of the preventable deaths), screen 208 people to prevent 1 death, result in 142 false-positive CT screening examinations per prevented death, and diagnose 0.94 extra lung cancers per prevented death. Strategies below the curve, such as USPSTF and CMS recommendations, are estimated as having less screening effectiveness than risk-based strategies. USPSTF recommendations are estimated as having more screening effectiveness than CMS recommendations because CMS recommendations exclude older smokers (78-80 years), who can have higher risks of lung cancer.

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