Medical News and Perspectives
November 7, 2007

New Screening Techniques Show Potential for Early Detection of Lung Cancer

JAMA. 2007;298(17):1997. doi:10.1001/jama.298.17.1997

Atlanta—Because about 90% of all lung cancer cases are caused by smoking but only 10% to 15% of heavy smokers will develop the disease, researchers are developing new and sensitive detection techniques to better identify those individuals at highest risk. The tests may also help spot nonsmokers who are at risk due to other factors, such as heredity.

Researchers presenting findings on some of these efforts at the American Association for Cancer Research's second International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development stressed that new tests are needed because current screening technologies such as high-resolution coaxial tomography often detect lung cancer at later stages. Approximately 213 000 people in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with the disease this year, and more than 160 000 deaths are anticipated.

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