Cutting-Edge Clinical Trials Offer Hope for Lung Cancer Patients

lung scanLung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in the United States, killing more people than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. An average of 160,000 Americans each year will lose their battle with lung cancer. Early detection is the key to prolonging life. Jeffrey Kern, MD, director of the Lung Cancer Center at National Jewish Health notes, “We need to enhance screening to detect a greater number of early-stage lung cancers. That is the patient’s best chance of a cure.” When lung cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages, the five-year survival rate is 70-80 percent.


Combining Blood and Imaging

Researchers are working on the LDCT-EarlyCDT lung screening study. It combines two types of lung cancer screenings: a blood test and an imaging test called a CT chest scan. The EarlyCDT-Lung blood test screens for antigens that show up in the blood when cancerous tumors might be present. A CT chest scan can show lung nodules and masses that may not be seen on a normal chest X-ray.

The blood test has a 41 percent sensitivity; that is, it can detect 41 percent of lung cancers. The CT chest scan has shown a 20 percent reduction in death rates from lung cancer, something chemotherapy trials and chest X-ray screening trials have not been able to replicate. This combination of blood and image screening offers promise to both high-risk patients and those with other risk factors that could lead to lung cancer.

National Jewish Health is currently recruiting patients for both the LDCT-EarlyCDT and breath screening trials. To learn more, please call 303.398.1921 or 877.225.5654 and ask for the Adult CRU.

Learn more about other clinical trials.

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