The discussion about setting up a program for lung cancer screening was launched with the publication of the results of the National Lung Screening Trial, which suggested reduced mortality in high-risk subjects undergoing CT screening. However, important questions about the benefit-harm balance and the details of a screening program and its cost-effectiveness remain unanswered. A panel of specialists in chest radiology, respiratory medicine, epidemiology, and thoracic surgery representing all Swiss university hospitals prepared this joint statement following several meetings. The panel argues that premature and uncontrolled introduction of a lung cancer screening program may cause substantial harm that may remain undetected without rigorous quality control. This position paper focuses on the requirements of running such a program with the objective of harmonizing efforts across the involved specialties and institutions and defining quality standards. The underlying statement includes information on current evidence for a reduction in mortality with lung cancer screening and the potential epidemiologic implications of such a program in Switzerland. Furthermore, requirements for lung cancer screening centers are defined, and recommendations for both the CT technique and the algorithm for lung nodule assessment are provided. In addition, related issues such as patient management, registry, and funding are addressed. Based on the current state of the knowledge, the panel concludes that lung cancer screening in Switzerland should be undertaken exclusively within a national observational study in order to provide answers to several critical questions before considering broad population-based screening for lung cancer.
- Early lung cancer detection
- Low-dose CT
- Lung cancer screening
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine