JK Field, SW Duffy, DR Baldwin, DK Whynes, A Devaraj, KE Brain, T Eisen, J Gosney, BA Green, JA Holemans, T Kavanagh, KM Kerr, M Ledson, KJ Lifford, FE McRonald, A Nair, RD Page, MKB Parmar, DM Rassl, RC Rintoul, NJ Screaton, NJ Wald, D Weller, PR Williamson, G Yadegarfar, DM Hansell
BACKGROUND: Lung cancer screening using low-dose CT (LDCT) was shown to reduce lung cancer mortality by 20% in the National Lung Screening Trial. METHODS: The pilot UK Lung Cancer Screening (UKLS) is a randomised controlled trial of LDCT screening for lung cancer versus usual care. A population-based questionnaire was used to identify high-risk individuals. CT screen-detected nodules were managed by a pre-specified protocol. Cost effectiveness was modelled with reference to the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial mortality reduction. RESULTS: 247 354 individuals aged 50-75 years were approached; 30.7% expressed an interest, 8729 (11.5%) were eligible and 4055 were randomised, 2028 into the CT arm (1994 underwent a CT). Forty-two participants (2.1%) had confirmed lung cancer, 34 (1.7%) at baseline and 8 (0.4%) at the 12-month scan. 28/42 (66.7%) had stage I disease, 36/42 (85.7%) had stage I or II disease. 35/42 (83.3%) had surgical resection. 536 subjects had nodules greater than 50 mm(3) or 5 mm diameter and 41/536 were found to have lung cancer. One further cancer was detected by follow-up of nodules between 15 and 50 mm(3) at 12 months. The baseline estimate for the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of once-only CT screening, under the UKLS protocol, was £8466 per quality adjusted life year gained (CI £5542 to £12 569). CONCLUSIONS: The UKLS pilot trial demonstrated that it is possible to detect lung cancer at an early stage and deliver potentially curative treatment in over 80% of cases. Health economic analysis suggests that the intervention would be cost effective-this needs to be confirmed using data on observed lung cancer mortality reduction. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN 78513845.