Dr. Joshua Campbell has been immersed in the field of lung cancer for several years and wanted to find a better way to diagnose squamous cell lung cancer patients, a subtype of non-small cell lung cancer, while the cancer is in early stages. “There is a huge need for research in this area,” he notes. “Improving early detection techniques will be key to improving survival rates for patients with squamous cell lung cancer.”
-> Early detection
Last weekend, close to 40,000 oncology professionals, including superstar lung cancer researchers (many of whom are members of LUNGevity’s Scientific Advisory Board), gathered in Chicago to attend the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO.
For decades, scientists have known about circulating tumor DNA, tiny amounts of DNA shed by dead tumor cells that float in the bloodstream, but haven’t been able to make good use of it — until now.
Many people with family histories of cancer are getting tested to identify their cancer risk and take action before it starts. For example, the actress Angelina Jolie, who inherited the BRCA1 gene and whose mother died of ovarian cancer, underwent two preventive surgeries to reduce her risk of breast and ovarian cancer, while patients with an increased risk of colon cancer often take a daily dose of aspirin to reduce their risk.
I am sure all of you have heard the phrase “A picture’s worth a thousand words!” I first heard it from my undergraduate biology professor, who always reminded us that each time we looked at an anatomy image in Grey’s Anatomy, we would learn something new. Well, little did I know that I would be using the same phrase in the context of lung cancer screening and computed tomography (CT) screening.
Yay! It’s November again and I get to write the first science blog for Lung Cancer Awareness Month. And what’s more interesting and important than early detection of lung cancer?
As a pathologist specializing in lung disease at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Lida Hariri’s job is to analyze lung biopsy samples and diagnose patients. After years of doing this work, she started to notice a pattern. When lung CT scans showed lesions that were difficult to access or too small to biopsy well, many doctors tended to wait and see whether the lesion grew before doing the biopsy.
I consider myself really privileged. As Director of Research and Policy, I get to attend scientific conferences and report out on the latest research into the early detection and treatment of lung cancer. You may have seen several of my blogs about conferences I have attended. While all of the conferences are interesting, the annual American Association for Cancer Research conference has a special place in my heart.
Each year Viswam Nair, MD, manages treatment plans for hundreds of patients at Stanford University. A pulmonologist with formal training in epidemiology, Dr. Nair stays current on the latest scientific breakthroughs to offer his patients the best possible outcomes.
On February 10, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a National Coverage Decision to expand reimbursement for lung cancer screening with low-density computed tomography (LDCT).