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Samantha Schmidt
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For Release: April 23, 2009


Early-Stage Lung Cancer Identified Using Computer-Aided System Dramatically Increases One’s Chance for Survival

A computer-aided detection (CAD) method may help radiologists identify cancerous lung nodules at an early stage, according to a study performed at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.

“In our study we identified 88 nodules that were not detected at the time of interpretation but visible in retrospect and were subsequently determined to be lung cancers,” said Joseph Jen-Sho Chen, MD, lead author of the study. “CAD was applied to the overlooked nodules and we found that 45-55% of the missed nodules were found using the CAD software. The implication of our study is that it is possible that at least some of the nodules representing lung cancer might have been diagnosed at an earlier stage, resulting in early treatment and perhaps a better outcome,” said Dr. Chen.

“The complexity of the structures in the chest including the ribs, mediastinum and pulmonary vessels can make it difficult to identify separate pulmonary nodules that may represent an early lung cancer from normal anatomy,” said Dr. Chen. “Computer-aided detection is a method that can be used to assist the radiologist in the search for lung cancer. The software highlights abnormalities that may be overlooked by the radiologist on an initial search,” said Dr. Chen.

“Lung cancer accounts for more than 150,000 deaths annually in the US alone. Overall, only about 15% of patients survive five years or more, but with early detection, survival increases to greater than 70%,” said Dr. Chen. “The use of CAD may be particularly valuable in early lung cancer, where the findings are often subtle,” he said.

“We hope ultimately that studies such as ours will determine whether CAD should be adopted as part of the standard armamentarium for evaluating lung nodules,” said Dr. Chen.

This study will be presented at the 2009 ARRS Annual Meeting in Boston, MA, on Tuesday, April 28. For a copy of the full study, please contact Heather Curry via email at hcurry@arrs.org.

About ARRS

The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900 and is the oldest radiology society in the United States. Its monthly journal, the American Journal of Roentgenology, began publication in 1906. Radiologists from all over the world attend the ARRS annual meeting to participate in instructional courses, scientific paper presentations and scientific and commercial exhibits related to the field of radiology. The Society is named after the first Nobel Laureate in Physics, Wilhelm Röentgen, who discovered the x-ray in 1895. ###


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