Incorporating coexisting chronic illness into decisions about patient selection for lung cancer screening an official American thoracic society research statement

M. Patricia Rivera, Nichole T. Tanner, Gerard A. Silvestri, Frank C. Detterbeck, Martin C. Tammemägi, Robert P. Young, Christopher G. Slatore, Tanner J. Caverly, Cynthia M. Boyd, Dejana Braithwaite, Joelle T. Fathi, Michael K. Gould, Jonathan M. Iaccarino, Stephen P. Malkoski, Peter J. Mazzone, Lynn T. Tanoue, Nancy L. Schoenborn, Javier J. Zulueta, Renda Soylemez Wiener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Lung cancer screening (LCS) has the potential to reduce the risk of lung cancer death in healthy individuals, but the impact of coexisting chronic illnesses on LCS outcomes has not been well defined. Consideration of the complex relationship between baseline risk of lung cancer, treatment-related harms, and risk of death from competing causes is crucial in determining the balance of benefits and harms of LCS. Objectives: To summarize evidence, identify knowledge and research gaps, prioritize topics, and propose methods for future research on how best to incorporate comorbidities in making decisions regarding LCS. Methods: A multidisciplinary group of international clinicians and researchers reviewed available data on the effects of comorbidities on LCS outcomes, focusing on the juxtaposition of lung cancer risk and competing risks of death, consideration of benefits and risks in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, communication of risk, and treatment of screen-detected lung cancer. Results: This statement identifies gaps in knowledge regarding how comorbidities and competing causes of death impact outcomes in LCS, and we have developed questions to help guide future research efforts to better inform patient selection, education, and implementation of LCS. Conclusions: There is an urgent need for further research that can help guide clinical decision-making with patients who may not benefit from LCS owing to coexisting chronic illness. This statement establishes a research framework to address essential questions regarding how to incorporate and communicate risks of comorbidities into patient selection and decisions regarding LCS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e3-e13
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2018


  • Communication of risk
  • Comorbidities
  • Lung cancer screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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