December 21, 2017

Roundtable Rallies Support for Lung CA Screening

The National Lung Cancer Roundtable (NLCRT) held its inaugural meeting on Dec. 11–12 in Bethesda, MD, the first major meeting for a new nationwide coalition of organizations committed to moving low-dose CT lung cancer screening into mainstream medicine. 

The roundtable, launched by the American Cancer Society in March 2017, has recruited 65 organizational members including clinical professionals, researchers, lung cancer advocates and patients, health care organizations and cancer centers, insurers, industry, and government agencies.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) is a prominent member. The College shares NLCRT’s interest in reducing the incidence and morbid consequences of lung cancer. More than 222,500 new cases are diagnosed annually in the U.S.

A fundamental premise of the roundtable is its member organizations will be more successful in fighting the disease through collaboration than by working alone.

Ella Kazerooni, MD, FACR, chairs the NLCRT. She also heads the ACR Lung Cancer Screening Committee and ACR Thoracic Imaging Panel. She was encouraged by the varied interests of the audience drawn to NLCRT’s first national meeting.

“It was truly heartening to have so many engaged people from a diversity of professional organizations, patient advocacy groups, cancer centers, payers and — importantly — lung cancer survivors, enthusiastically discussing and developing plans to tackle lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death,” she said. “Through the roundtable’s reach, influence and focus, we will move the needle. Together, we will create lung cancer survivors!”

The ACR has advocated for the development of diagnostic instruments for early lung cancer detection treatment of lung cancer for decades. In the early 2000s, the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) designed and implemented the National Lung Screening Trial, a multicenter, randomized controlled trial that found low-dose CT screenings reduce lung cancer mortality by 20 percent compared to serial chest X-rays of long-term smokers.

Since the landmark NLST study’s publication in 2011, the ACR has successfully fought to have Medicare and private insurers pay for low-dose CT lung cancer screenings, and it has created the following resources support high-quality lung cancer screening services:

  • Lung Cancer Screening Education – An eLearning tool that covers the essentials for establishing and operating a low-dose CT lung cancer screening service
  • Lung Cancer Screening Registry – It enables providers to meet the quality reporting requirements of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for receiving Medicare CT lung cancer screening payment
  • Lung CT Screening Reporting & Data System – LungRADS® is a quality assurance tool designed to standardize lung cancer screening reporting and patient management recommendations 
  • ACR Designated Lung Cancer Screening Centers – A unit-specific recognition of performance for services holding ACR CT Accreditation in the chest module and the use of a screening protocol meeting minimum technical standards
  • ACR Dose Index Registry – Allows facilities to compare their CT dose indices to regional and national values to assist quality control and assurance

The ACR’s programs are summarized on the ACR Lung Cancer Screening Resources webpage.