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JTO Clin Res Rep


INTRODUCTION: Lung cancer screening criteria should select candidates with minimal cardiopulmonary comorbidities who are fit for curative lung cancer resection.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed 728 patients with lung cancer for screening eligibility using the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) 2013 criteria (n = 370). If ineligible for screening, they were further assessed for eligibility using the USPSTF 2021 (n = 121) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network group 2 (NCCN gp 2) (n = 155). Comparisons of cardiopulmonary comorbidities between patients selected by the different lung cancer screening criteria were performed. Excluding missing data, a similar comparison was done between USPSTF 2013 (n = 283) and PLCOm2012 (risk threshold ≥1.51%) (n = 118).

RESULTS: Patients eligible for USPSTF 2021 and NCCN gp 2 had lower rates of airflow obstruction (forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV1]/forced vital capacity <0.7) compared with those in USPSTF 2013 (55.4% and 56.8% versus 70.5%). Both USPSTF 2021 and NCCN gp 2 groups had less severe airflow obstruction; only 11.6% and 12.9% of patients, respectively, had percent-predicted FEV1 less than 50% versus 20.3% in the USPSTF 2013 group. Comparing USPSTF 2013 and PLCOm2012 revealed no significant differences in age or the rate of airflow obstruction (p = 0.06 and p = 0.09 respectively). Nevertheless, rates of percent-predicted FEV1 less than 50% and diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide less than 50% were lower in the PLCOm2012 group compared with those in the USPSTF 2013 group (22.3% versus 10.2% and 32.6% versus 20.0%), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The USPSTF 2021 qualifies an additional group of screening candidates who are healthier with better lung reserve, translating to better surgical candidacy but potentially more overdiagnosis. The PLCOm2012, with its better accuracy in selecting patients at risk of cancer, selects an older group with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease but with good lung reserve and potentially less overdiagnosis.

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