A study conducted in part at the Medical Center’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center found that screening former and current smokers with a CT scan can reduce lung cancer deaths by 20 percent, according to a university press release.
“The bottom line for this study is that these results are very encouraging. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in this country,” Claudine Isaacs, the lead investigator in Georgetown’s part of the study, said in the release.
“[There is more to be done in] figuring out how to implement the findings in the community, and to determine the actual cost-benefit ratio – in other words, will the number of lives saved be justified by the expense of conducting these scans?” said Louis Weiner, director of the Lombardi Center.
As part of the study, a CT scan was compared to a standard chest X-ray. The study found that a larger number of lung cancer deaths occurred in patients who had received an X-ray than those who had received CT scans.
“Potentially, we could save thousands of lives with CT screening, but . we could save hundreds of thousands more if people wouldn’t smoke or quit if they do,” Isaacs said in a university press release.
Georgetown was one of 33 testing sites around the country where the study was conducted. Over 1,800 smokers between the ages of 55 and 74 were involved in the study at Georgetown.
“Studies like these generate so much excitement, but clearly there is much more work to be done,” Weiner said in a release.