Study sheds light on lung cancers that are undetected by radiograph

September 3, 2012

New research has revealed why some lung cancers are undetected by radiograph and helped to identify the type of people who may be at risk of this form of the disease.

The findings will be presented today (Monday 3 September 2012) at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Vienna.

There has been no significant reduction in lung in recent years.  Chest radiographs can be used to screen for lung cancer. However, these aren't always effective and it appears that some cancers are later diagnosed even though individuals have received a negative chest radiograph within the previous 12 months.

The reason for this could be due to with the cancer being missed on the review of the radiograph, due to the cancer being undetectable by this form of , or because the cancer developed so rapidly that it both initiates and becomes evident in the between .

Little is known about this form of lung cancer that is not detected by chest radiograph, which is referred to as an interval cancer. To improve the understanding of this type of the disease, researchers aimed to analyse the type of people who developed this cancer and the characteristics of the disease.

The research used data from a national screening trial in the USA. It followed 77,445 who were screened at the start of the study and then annually for either 2 or 3 years depending on their smoking status.

A total of 450 people were diagnosed with lung cancer during the years of chest radiograph screening, of which 152 were initially not spotted by the radiograph. Out of this group, 35% of lung cancers not initially identified on the radiograph were spotted when it was re-reviewed. The remaining 65% of this group therefore had 'true interval cancer' which was not detected on the initial screening, or the second review.

The results revealed that these cancers were at a more advanced stage when diagnosed, were more often small cell lung cancers and less often adenocarcinoma. The analysis also showed that this type of cancer was more common among males and those with a history of smoking.

Lead author, Dr. Paul Kvale from the Henry Ford Hospital in the USA, said: "These findings have helped us to understand the characteristics of this type of lung cancer, pointing out features which make them different from lung cancers that can be detected by a chest x-ray screening programme. The results add to the evidence that a screening programme using x-rays is not suitable for , as this this more aggressive form of the disease will be missed.

"By increasing our understanding of true interval cancers, we can help to improve screening techniques in the future."

Explore further: Study finds that annual screening with chest x-ray does not reduce rate of lung cancer deaths

Related Stories

Study finds that annual screening with chest x-ray does not reduce rate of lung cancer deaths

October 26, 2011
In a trial that included more than 150,000 participants, those who underwent annual chest radiographic screening for up to 4 years did not have a significantly lower rate of death from lung cancer compared to participants ...

Breast cancers found between mammograms more likely to be aggressive

May 3, 2011
Breast cancers that are first detectable in the interval between screening mammograms are more likely to be aggressive, fast-growing tumors according to a study published online May 3rd in the Journal of the National Cancer ...

New study looks at growth rates of lung cancers found by CT screening

March 27, 2012
Growth rates of lung cancers found by annual rounds of computed tomography (CT) screening are important for determining the usefulness and frequency of screening, as well as for determining the treatment. According to the ...

Asymptomatic often sent for lung cancer screening tests

March 13, 2012
(HealthDay) -- A majority of primary care physicians report ordering lung cancer screening tests for asymptomatic patients, according to research published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Low-dose CT screening may benefit individuals at increased risk for lung cancer

May 20, 2012
Peter B. Bach, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine the evidence regarding the benefits and harms of low-dose computerized tomography (LDCT) ...

Recommended for you

New bowel cancer drug target discovered

October 17, 2017
Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have discovered a new drug target for bowel cancer that is specific to tumour cells and therefore less toxic than conventional therapies.

Many pelvic tumors in women may have common origin—fallopian tubes

October 17, 2017
Most—and possibly all—ovarian cancers start, not in ovaries, but instead in the fallopian tubes attached to them.

Researchers find novel mechanism of resistance to anti-cancer drugs

October 17, 2017
The targeted anti-cancer therapies cetuximab and panitumumab are mainstays of treatment for advanced colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, many patients have tumors ...

Using artificial intelligence to improve early breast cancer detection

October 17, 2017
Every year 40,000 women die from breast cancer in the U.S. alone. When cancers are found early, they can often be cured. Mammograms are the best test available, but they're still imperfect and often result in false positive ...

New assay may boost targeted treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

October 17, 2017
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive cancer and the most frequently diagnosed non-Hodgkin lymphoma worldwide (nearly 40% of cases). Recent advancements indicate that both the prognosis and choice of treatment ...

Biology of childhood brain tumor subtypes offers clues to precision treatments

October 17, 2017
Researchers investigating pediatric low-grade gliomas (PLGG), the most common type of brain tumor in children, have discovered key biological differences in how mutated genes combine with other genes to drive this childhood ...

0 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.