Strategies presented to avoid overzealous lung CA screening

Strategies presented to avoid overzealous lung CA screening

(HealthDay)—The benefits and harms of low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for lung cancer should be carefully considered before Medicare decides on its coverage policy, according to an editorial published online June 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Noting that on April 30, 2014, the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) gave a vote of low confidence in the benefits versus harms of LDCT screening, Renda Soylemez Wiener, M.D., M.P.H., from Boston University School of Medicine, discussed Medicare's options for coverage.
The author notes that LDCT screening can be safely and effectively implemented in the community using carefully designed screening programs with precautions to minimize harms and maximize benefits. The implications of the MEDCAC vote could mean that LDCT will not be covered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which would potentially increase the socioeconomic- and age-based disparities in outcomes. An alternative approach would be a CMS determination of coverage during a period of evidence development. Perhaps an optimal option would be for CMS to offer LDCT screening coverage when conducted in certified facilities that provide comprehensive, patient-centered programs, designed to maximize and minimize harms.

"To avoid the hard lessons learned from overzealous implementation of prostate cancer screening, we must get implementation of LDCT screening right from the outset," the author writes.

More information: Editorial

Related Stories

Recommended for you

DNA blood test detects lung cancer mutations

date 11 hours ago

Cancer DNA circulating in the bloodstream of lung cancer patients can provide doctors with vital mutation information that can help optimise treatment when tumour tissue is not available, an international group of researchers ...

Tumors prefer the easy way out

date 13 hours ago

Tumor cells become lethal when they spread. Blocking this process can be a powerful way to stop cancer. Historically, scientists thought that tumor cells migrated by brute force, actively pushing through whatever ...

Brain tumors may be new targets of Ebola-like virus

date 13 hours ago

Brain tumors are notoriously difficult for most drugs to reach, but Yale researchers have found a promising but unlikely new ally against brain cancers—portions of a deadly virus similar to Ebola.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.