IASLC CEO Comments on MEDCAC recommendations against Covering Lung Cancer Screening

Contact: Rob Mansheim
IASLC Director of Communications
(720) 325-2952


IASLC CEO Comments on MEDCAC Recommendations Against Covering Lung Cancer Screening


DENVER – The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is disappointed in the recommendations made by the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) to not support Medicare coverage of low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening of patients at high risk for lung cancer.

"If this recommendation would come to decision at CMS, it would mean that the people who can afford private insurance will have the full cost of lung cancer screening covered through insurance through provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but Medicaid/Medicare beneficiaries including many at high risk for lung cancer will not." said Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, and CEO of IASLC.

Screening for lung cancer using LDCT has been the subject of many research studies since the 1990s. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) compared LDCT with chest radiograph in high-risk populations of over 53,000 study participants and found a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer mortality along with a 7 percent reduction in all-cause mortality. This result led the United Stated Preventative Services Task Force to recommend LDCT screening as an approved early detection approach, which is a significant achievement for the cancer causing the most cancer deaths both in the US and worldwide.

Based on a growing body of evidence supporting the benefit of lung cancer screening, the IASLC is committed to working towards a safe, economical and effective dissemination into the US healthcare system. The IASLC statements on lung cancer screening were published in the October 2013 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. The new IASLC/WHO pathological classification of lung cancer has also helped to define which early lung cancers require surgical intervention rather than continued observation. The IASLC continues to support a range of lung cancer screening research efforts across the globe. Through its meetings and publications, the IASLC works to ensure continued rapid progress in improving the management of early lung cancer, especially with integrating smoking cessation as relevant to enhance the benefit of LDCT screening. In light of the promising scientific results from the NLST study, the IASLC recommends that persons who are 55 – 74 years of age with a minimum smoking history of 30 pack-years or more should discuss the potential benefits and harms of LDCT screening with their physicians.

For more information on screening and lung cancer please visit



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 3,800 lung cancer specialists in 80 countries.To learn more about IASLC please visit

May 7, 2014