Are there any reliable screening tests for lung cancer? What is the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST)?
Yes, low dose chest CT (LDCT) is the only diagnostic test that has been shown to decrease lung cancer specific mortality rates in individuals at high risk for lung cancer. This was shown by the NLST, a large multicenter prospective trial that compared screening with frontal chest radiography to screening with thin-section LDCT, in participants of age 55 to 74 with ≥ 30 pack-year smoking history and history of smoking within the past 15 years. The NLST was the largest and most expensive (>$200M) randomized clinical trial of a single screening test in the history of medicine in the United States.