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New study finds most eligible US adults are not getting screened for lung cancer

ACS researchers stress initiatives to expand access to healthcare and screening facilities to improve early detection and treatment for lung cancer.

A new study announced June 10, led by American Cancer Society researchers, shows less than one-in-five eligible individuals in the United States were up to date (UTD) with recommended . The screening uptake was much lower in persons without health insurance or usual source of care and in Southern states with the highest lung cancer burden. The findings are published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Internal Medicine.

“Although lung cancer screening rates continue to be considerably low, this research does show an improvement over screening rates reported for previous years,” said Dr. Priti Bandi, scientific director, cancer risk factors and screening surveillance research at ACS. “But we clearly, still have a long way to go. We must push harder to move the needle in the right direction.”

“Early detection with LCS is critical because lung cancer symptoms often don't appear in the early stages, but when diagnosed and treated early, survival is markedly improved,” added Bandi. “National and state-based initiatives to expand access to healthcare and screening facilities are needed to continue to improve, prevention, early detection and treatment for lung cancer to help save lives.”

ACS’ advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), continues to work at all levels of government to advocate for access to lung cancer screenings. “This research further amplifies the critical need for reducing all barriers to access to care to ensure people are able to immediately utilize preventive and early detection screenings at no cost,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of the ACS CAN. “Expanding Medicaid in the 10 states that have yet to do so would significantly improve access to these lifesaving screenings and decrease lung cancer deaths, as well as eliminating patient costs for screening and follow-up tests by all payers, bringing us closer to ending cancer as we know it, for everyone.”

Other ACS researchers contributing to the study include Jessica StarTyler Kratzer and Dr. Robert SmithDr. Ahmedin Jemal is senior author of the research.

For information on tobacco cessation, read here

Several media outlets covered the news, including Newsday.

  • Cost of care discussions rarely documented for patients with advanced cancer

    New study shows this may hinder identifying patient financial needs and tracking outcomes of associated referrals.

    A new large population-based pilot study, announced June 13, led by researchers at the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute shows cost discussions were infrequently documented in medical records of patient diagnosed with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and melanoma, which may hinder identifying patient financial needs and tracking outcomes of associated referrals. The findings are published in the journal Cancer.

    “Cancer diagnosis and informed treatment decision-making can be complicated, especially when  the costs of care and the potential for patients to experience financial hardship are considered,” said lead study author Dr. Robin Yabroff, scientific vice president, health services research at the ACS. “Professional organizations have long recommended discussions about treatment costs as part of high-quality care, but these discussions continue to be uncommon. We need to do a better job of ensuring that treatment cost discussions between patients and provider teams occur and are well-documented, especially when high-cost treatment options are available.”

    “Efforts to increase cost of care discussions and relevant referrals, as well as their documentation are warranted as part of ongoing quality care improvement,” added Yabroff.

    Like and share the news on X. Also, like and share the ACS News post on X congratulation Dr. Yabroff on becoming a Fellow of ACSO. 

  • ACS, National Cancer Institute, and Cancer Research UK present groundbreaking cancer prevention research conference

    Event is opportunity for researchers across disciplines to engage in, learn about, and discuss the latest concepts.

    The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and Cancer Research UK announced that they hosted their first annual conference on cancer prevention research, June 25 – 27, in Boston, MA. The event brings together scientists from discovery biology through translational and behavioral science to population and implementation research to create a thriving multidisciplinary cancer prevention research community. The goal is to help create a “new look” for cancer prevention in the research community, and to showcase research to better understand cancer aetiology, risk factors, intervention development and implementation, and health inequalities in cancer prevention.

    “This is an exciting opportunity for researchers across disciplines to engage in, learn about, and discuss the latest concepts in cancer prevention research,” said Dr. William Dahut, chief scientific officer at ACS. “The conference will be built on a philosophy of using advances in mechanistic understanding to inform more effective ways of preventing cancer.”  

    Like and share CEO Dr. Karen Knudsen’s post on X in which she calls the conference “historic.”

  • ACS releases update to Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Facts & Figures

    State-level lung cancer screening data is now available.

    The American Cancer Society released an update June 17 to Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Facts & Figures, 2023-2024With this update, state-level lung cancer screening data is available for the first time. 

    Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Facts & Figures was released last spring; the report offers a look at progress toward modifiable cancer risk factors and behaviors. The report found both favorable and unfavorable changes in major cancer risk factors, preventive behaviors and services, and screenings in the United States. This latest update focuses on tables and figures within the report.

    A few key highlights: 

    • The 2024 CPED F&F Tables & Figures provide the latest data on modifiable cancer risk factors and screening at national and state levels. 
    • State-level data on lung cancer screening includes estimates of eligibility and screening percentages across the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico for 2022.
    • The report also includes updated state-level 2022 data on breast, cervical, colorectal (CRC), and prostate cancer screening from the 2022 Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System.
    • Updated state-level 2022 data on smoking prevalence, obesity prevalence, diet and physical inactivity, and HPV vaccination coverage is also included.

    "We are excited about the new lung cancer screening data because it will: provide data for all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico, allowing state-level program and policy staff to have the latest screening information to advocate and plan for lung cancer screening and prevention,” said Dr. Priti Bandi, scientific director, risk factors and screening research.

    Dr. Bandi published a recent study showing most eligible US adults are not getting screened for lung cancer, making this sort of information even more relevant to team members. 

    Why this report is important

    We know 42% of the 611,720 cancer deaths projected to occur in the US in 2024 are expected to be attributable to modifiable cancer risk factors, such as:

    • Cigarette smoking
    • Excess body weight
    • Alcohol intake
    • Physical inactivity
    • Unhealthy diet
    • Obesity

    These risk factors are potentially all avoidable through lifestyle changes. Cancer screening tests can further prevent thousands of additional cancer cases and deaths. This latest Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Facts & Figures report offers a look at progress toward those modifiable cancer risk factors and behaviors.

  • Investigators receive $28M in new research and career development grants

    Funding includes ACS Research Professor Award and ACS IMPACT Research Professorship Award.​

    The American Cancer Society, the largest non-government, non-profit funding source of cancer research in the United States, has approved funding for $28 million in new Extramural Discovery Science (EDS) research and career development grants. The awards will fund investigators at institutions across the United States starting in July 2024.

    "We are very proud to announce these new grant awardees and their critically important research projects,” said Dr. Christina Annunziata, senior vice president, Extramural Discovery Science. “These scientists have dedicated their lives to increasing our understanding of better ways to treat and survive cancer and we look forward to partnering with them in our collective mission to help save lives.”

    ACS seeks to improve the lives of cancer patients, families, and caregivers through research, patient services, and advocacy. These awards require fundamental, preclinical, clinical, population, and implementation/dissemination research as well as multidisciplinary team science to tackle the complexities of cancers and cancer care.

    “We are excited these grants will fund a range of innovative research across different cancer types,” said Dr. William Dahut, chief scientific officer. “These studies include intervention approaches, and research methodologies that highlight basic molecular research, immunotherapy, preclinical and clinical trials, prospective cohort studies, and even AI and computational machine learning.”

    During this grant period, there are two new recipients of the ACS Professor Award and two new recipients of the ACS IMPACT Professorship Award. These are highly prestigious awards for investigators who have made seminal contributions in cancer research. The award also recognizes exceptional track records in leadership, service, and mentoring in cancer research. The ACS IMPACT Professor Award was created to help advise ACS in efforts to address the public health burden of prostate cancer through ACS’ IMPACT initiative – Improving Mortality from Prostate Cancer Together. 

    Grantees included the following. Read more details about their work in the ACS press room

    ACS Professors

    Shuji Ogino, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.
    ACS Clinical Research Professor
    Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Inc. 
    Project Title: “Integrative Transdisciplinary Study of Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer” 

    Ann Partridge, M.D., M.P.H. 
    ACS Clinical Research Professor
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Project Title: “Clinical Research Professor”  

    IMPACT Professorships

    Daniel George, M.D.
    ACS IMPACT Professorship in Prostate Cancer
    Duke University School of Medicine 
    Project Title: “Race-based cohort trials to improve outcomes for Black men”

    Christopher Haiman, Sc.D. 
    ACS IMPACT Professorship in Prostate Cancer
    University of Southern California (USC)
    Project Title: “ACS IMPACT Research Professorship in Prostate Cancer”   

    ACS is also proud to announce two recipients of Mission Boost Stage II grants. The grants are designed to support current and past ACS grantees working to translate their initial basic research into human testing by funding innovative high-risk/high-reward projects.

    Mission Boost Stage II Grants

    Eben Rosenthal, M.D. 
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Mission Boost Stage II Grantee
    Project Title: “Minimally Invasive Lymph Node Staging in Head and Neck Cancer”
    Rosenthal was the previous recipient of a Research Scholar Grant from 2006-2010 and a Stage I Mission Boost Grant from 2021-2023.

    Lei Xu, M.D., Ph.D. 
    Massachusetts General Hospital
    Mission Boost Stage II Grantee
    Project Title: “Reprogramming the Tumor Microenvironment to Enhance Immunotherapy”
    Xu was the previous recipient of a Research Scholar Grant from 2012-2017 and a Stage I Mission Boost Grant from 2022-2023.

    Other research award highlights include:

    Biochemistry and Immunology of Cancer Research Program Grants

    Silvia Guglietta, Ph.D. 
    Medical University of South Carolina 
    Research Scholar Grant
    Project Title: “Targeting Complement Anaphylatoxin C3a Receptor to Break Immunotherapy Resistance in Colorectal Cancer”

    Zhijie ‘Jason’ Liu, Ph.D. 
    UT Health San Antonio 
    Research Scholar Grant
    Project Title: “Enhancer Mechanisms and Interventions in Breast Cancer Endocrine Resistance”

    Cell Biology and Preclinical Cancer Research Program Grants

    Pavithra Viswanath, Ph.D. 
    The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco 
    Research Scholar Grant
    Project Title: “Developing a Novel Tracer for Imaging Oncometabolic Activity in Cancer” 

    Marta Overchuk, Ph.D. 
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
    Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant
    Project Title: “Exploiting the Potential of Photochemically-induced Ferroptosis to De-Escalate Platinum Dose in Metastatic Ovarian Cancer”

    Clinical and Cancer Control Research Program Grants

    Jennifer McQuade, M.D. 
    University of Texas, MD Anderson
    Research Scholar Grant
    Project Title: “Neoadjuvant ipilimumab/nivolumab + Microbiota-Directed Prebiotic Dietary Intervention to Optimize Immune Response in Melanoma”

    Manisha Bahl, M.D., M.P.H. 
    Massachusetts General Hospital 
    Research Scholar Grant
    Project Title: “Unlocking the Black Box: Explainable Artificial Intelligence for Breast Cancer Risk Prediction”


    The ACS Extramural Discovery Science program currently supports more than 700 research grants across the cancer continuum at more than 200 institutions. With an investment of more than five billion dollars since 1946, ACS has funded 50 researchers who have gone on to be awarded the Nobel Prize. ACS funds many early career investigators, giving the best and the brightest a chance to explore cutting-edge ideas at a time when they might not find funding elsewhere.

    Like and share this news on X (formerly Twitter).

  • VOICES of Black Women study launches

    ACS launches historic population study to drive deeper understanding of cancer disparities.

    This week, the American Cancer Society officially launched the VOICES of Black Women study, designed to help better understand the multi-level drivers of incidence, mortality, and resilience of cancer and other health conditions among Black women in the United States, so we can better understand how to collectively address them.

    This historic study will be the largest cohort study of cancer risk and outcomes among Black women in the United States. The study launched with a pilot in fall 2023 and officially kicked off nationwide on May 6, 2024, with activation scheduled in four waves throughout the summer and into early fall.

    With this study, ACS has a goal to enroll 100,000 Black women across 20 states and D.C., where, according the US Census, more than 90 percent of Black women in the US reside. Recruitment is open to Black women ages 25 to 55 who live in these geographic areas and have not been diagnosed with cancer (except basal or squamous skin cancer). This recruitment model is designed to help enroll women of diverse backgrounds.

    This study is designed to be transformative in helping ACS learn more about why Black women have some of the highest death rates and shortest survival of any racial or ethnic group in the US for most cancers.

    Feedback from the pilot recruitment efforts this fall show women are responding positively to the opportunity to enroll, said Dr. Alpa Patel, study principal investigator and senior vice president, Population Science. ACS team members have been working hard throughout the winter and spring to prepare for the launch since the pilot, with trainings offered for both all team members and specific, cross-functional key groups across the organization. 

    ACS team members are also prepping VOICES ambassadors – a core group of trusted volunteer messengers who will work with VOICES market teams to promote the study in their personal and professional circles. About 40 ambassadors are being trained to date. 

    What can you do to help? 

    • On Tuesday, May 7 and later, share VOICES with your networks on social media and elsewhere. Watch ACS brand social channels for content you can share. Please do not edit available materials.
    • No matter your role at ACS, we all have a role to play in VOICES. Think outside the box for ways you can help. What personal or professional connections do you have that may help further this work?
    • If you live in one of the 20 VOICES priority markets or in Washington, D.C., we particularly need your support.
      1. Check out the VOICES My Society Source page for resources and more information on the study.
      2. Watch for Region and state-specific updates throughout the campaign with actionable information specific to your area.
    • Stay tuned to My Society Source for the latest VOICES updates throughout the remainder of the year.

  • Discovery news briefs

    ACS Discovery Pillar work was noted in publications and received recognition.

    • ACS Journal Cancer published a randomized controlled trial funded by ACS that showed the results of virtual reality for pain management in hospitalized patients with cancer.
    • City of Hope and DELFI Diagnostics announced a collaboration, funded by a Discovery Boost grant from ACS, to improve lung cancer screening rates in underserved areas of Los Angeles.
    • Scientific Director, Health Services Research, Dr. Leitia Nogueira spoke with Cancer Today magazine and Global Environmental Health Chat podcast concerning climate change and cancer care.
    • What factors contribute to differences in cervical cancer screening in rural and urban community health centers? A new ACS study highlights the need for tailored interventions to increase screening rates. Read more in ACS Journal Cancer. 

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