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Biodesign conducts international cancer screening conference

March 29, 2010

An international research consortium recently gathered at ASU to address the latest issues on early detection of lung cancer, a growing health care threat and the second leading cause of death in the United States.

The International Early Lung Cancer Action Program, or I-ELCAP, is a lung cancer research organization with 56 sites in 26 states and 8 other countries whose mission is to reduce deaths from lung cancer by early detection and diagnosis through screening by computed tomography (CT).

Today, 85 percent of patients diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States will die from it within 5 years. Hope has been found in the early detection of lung cancer with annual CT screening of high-risk individuals. Annual screening with CT scans can find lung cancers in their earliest stage, when up to 92 percent can be cured.

Claudia Henschke and David Yankelevitz, adjunct faculty at the Biodesign Institute and physicians at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, conducted the 22nd annual I-ELCAP event. They serve as the scientific and administrative leaders of the I-ELCAP study, collecting scientific data at each site, based on a common CT screening protocol. Over 30,000 people at high risk for lung cancer have been screened thus far. The data is pooled and contributes to their ongoing research regarding best practices for CT screening.

This was ASU’s first year as hosts of the prestigious annual conference. Among the topics covered were: global perspectives on lung cancer, particularly in the United States and developing world; mortality and pathology of lung cancer; early diagnosis and treatment efforts; biorepositories; and smoking cessation efforts with screening.