CTCs as First-Line to Screen for Lung Cancer?

Research published by a team of Italian scientists in the Journal of the National Institute of Cancer shows that a 13-gene panel blood test for microRNAs could be a cost-effective screening tool for lung cancer, compared with low-dose CT, which is expensive.

The use of low-dose CT (LDCT) as a screening tool for lung cancer has been criticized for its high cost and its feasibility, given the large number of long-time heavy smokers and ex-smokers and the complexity of the process. What if a less expensive and more easily administered test could refine who is at highest risk for lung cancer, and therefore identify the top candidates for LDCT?

A team of Italian researchers believe they have developed such a tool—an experimental blood test that detects genetic material associated with lung tumors. They suggest that the tool could make LDCT a lot more attractive to health systems and patients.

"The availability of blood-detectable markers for selecting a high-risk population for subsequent LDCT screening could help reduce screening costs and increase compliance," wrote Pier Paolo Di Fiore, MD, from the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, and colleagues.

Link to the complete article on Medscape: