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  • Posted: 12/26/2012
NCI Cancer Center News

UT Southwestern study probes why and how patients with lung cancer initially get diagnosed with the disease

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers are looking into the widespread implementation of computed-tomography (CT) scanning for the early detection of lung cancer in a public heath setting. The researchers, in a study published at PLoS ONE – the Public Library of Science's online journal, reviewed the records of patients who were diagnosed with Stage 1 or Stage 2 non-small cell lung cancer over a recent 10-year period, and found that the proportion of cases identified by CT scan (without preceding chest X-ray) increased almost 50 percent during this period. Simultaneously, the proportion of patients who underwent initial chest imaging to evaluate symptoms declined more than 30 percent. Finally, the researchers found that only half of early-stage lung cancer cases would meet NLST criteria for lung cancer screening. UT Southwestern is home to the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center.

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NCI cancer centers logoAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.