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Lung cancer is associated with a heavy cancer-related burden in terms of patients’ physical and mental health worldwide. Two randomized controlled trials, the US-National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) and Nederlands-Leuvens Longkanker Screenings Onderzoek (NELSON), indicated that low-dose CT (LDCT) screening results in a statistically significant decrease in mortality in patients with lung cancer, LDCT has become the standard approach for lung cancer screening. However, many issues in lung cancer screening remain unresolved, such as the screening criteria, high false-positive rate, and radiation exposure. This review first summarizes recent studies on lung cancer screening from the US, Europe, and Asia, and discusses risk-based selection for screening and the related issues. Second, an overview of novel techniques for the differential diagnosis of pulmonary nodules, including artificial intelligence and molecular biomarker-based screening, is presented. Third, current explorations of strategies for suspected malignancy are summarized. Overall, this review aims to help clinicians understand recent progress in lung cancer screening and alleviate the burden of lung cancer.

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Advances in lung cancer screening and early detection

Show Author's information Caichen Li1,2,*Huiting Wang1,2,*Yu Jiang2,*Wenhai Fu1Xiwen Liu2Ran Zhong1,2Bo Cheng2Feng Zhu3Yang Xiang1Jianxing He2,4 ( )Wenhua Liang1,2,5 ( )
Department of Thoracic Oncology and Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, China National Center for Respiratory Medicine, China State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease & National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health, Guangzhou 510120, China
Dongguan Affiliated Hospital of Southern Medical University, Dongguan People Hospital, Dongguan 523059, China
Department of Internal Medicine, Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace Hospital, Detroit, Michigan 48235, USA
Department of Thoracic Surgery, Nanfang Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
Department of Oncology, the First People’s Hospital of Zhaoqing, Zhaoqing 526020, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work.


Lung cancer is associated with a heavy cancer-related burden in terms of patients’ physical and mental health worldwide. Two randomized controlled trials, the US-National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) and Nederlands-Leuvens Longkanker Screenings Onderzoek (NELSON), indicated that low-dose CT (LDCT) screening results in a statistically significant decrease in mortality in patients with lung cancer, LDCT has become the standard approach for lung cancer screening. However, many issues in lung cancer screening remain unresolved, such as the screening criteria, high false-positive rate, and radiation exposure. This review first summarizes recent studies on lung cancer screening from the US, Europe, and Asia, and discusses risk-based selection for screening and the related issues. Second, an overview of novel techniques for the differential diagnosis of pulmonary nodules, including artificial intelligence and molecular biomarker-based screening, is presented. Third, current explorations of strategies for suspected malignancy are summarized. Overall, this review aims to help clinicians understand recent progress in lung cancer screening and alleviate the burden of lung cancer.

Keywords: Lung cancer, biomarkers, early detection, strategies, screening, low-dose CT



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Publication history
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Publication history

Received: 18 January 2022
Accepted: 03 March 2022
Published: 24 June 2022
Issue date: May 2022


©2022 Cancer Biology & Medicine.

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