IASLC applauds the lung cancer efforts of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

IASLC applauds the lung cancer efforts of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Task force recommends high risk lung cancer patients receive low-dose CT scans

DENVER – The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) supports the draft lung cancer screening recommendations released by the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force. The Task Force announced Monday its draft recommendation statement on computed tomography (CT) screening.

“Based on the available evidence, the Task Force recommends screening people who are at high risk for lung cancer with annual low-dose CT scans, which can prevent a substantial number of lung cancer-related deaths,” the announcement reads. “After reviewing the evidence, the Task Force determined that you can reach a reasonable balance of benefits and harms by screening people who are 55 to 80 years old and have a 30 pack year or greater history of smoking, who are either current smokers or have quit in the past 15 years.”

Executive Director of the IASLC Dr. Paul Bunn says the Task Force came to similar conclusions as the IASLC did when the organization released its Statement on CT Screening in July of 2011. 

“We applaud them for coming out with this statement,” says Bunn, professor of Lung Cancer Research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in men and women in the U.S. This should help lower the lung cancer death rate and inform patients about their health benefits and risks of screening.” 

Dr. Fred Hirsch, professor of Pathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, notes that there are ongoing clinical trials on this topic, specifically outside the U.S., so patients should discuss screening with their doctor.

“We believe this is the best practice for patients in the U.S. at this time,” Hirsch says. “But we always evaluate best practices as the latest research comes out.” 

The IASLC is in the main supportive of the USPSTF recommendations as they stand within the USA Health Care system. However, the IASLC Strategic Advisory Screening Committee (SSAC) are currently debating these recommendations and how they would potentially be reflected in any advice to be provided within international health care systems. These discussions are currently ongoing and will be submitted to the USPSTF and also published by the IASLC SSAC. 

The Task Force’s draft recommendation statement has been posted for public comment on the Task Force website: Public comments can be submitted until August 26. 

The Task Force is an independent panel of non-federal experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine and is composed of primary care providers. They conduct scientific evidence reviews of a broad range of clinical preventive health care services.


About the IASLC:

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association’s membership includes more than 3,500 lung cancer specialists in 80 countries. To learn more about IASLC please visit

July 29, 2013