Untapped potential for TikTok to convey COVID-19 guidance

Research published in DeGruyter’s International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health suggests TikTok is rich with untapped educational potential. The platform could play a vital role in conveying important health information alongside lip-syncing videos and viral dance challenges, the paper’s authors say.

Led by researchers at William Paterson University and Columbia University, the new study, “COVID-19 on TikTok: Harnessing an emerging social media platform to convey important public health messages” explores how coronavirus information is being communicated on the platform. This has been a largely unexplored area—until now.

TikTok is a social media platform on which users share short videos. Since its worldwide release in 2018, it has soared in popularity—especially with teenagers and young people. It now has 800 million users worldwide and 37 billion monthly views in the United States alone.

Using a #Coronavirus hashtag, researchers examined and analyzed 117 TikTok videos, 17 of which were created by the World Health Organization (WHO). Altogether, the videos analyzed in the study received more than a billion views.

Fewer than 10% of the videos mentioned how the virus is transmitted, symptoms of COVID-19 and prevention of viral spread. None of the videos—including those uploaded by the WHO—discussed death and death rates, viral incubation time, wearing a face mask or travel restrictions.

The most commonly portrayed topics were anxiety and quarantine, with little focus on transmission and preventing infection. This may stem from the fact that teenagers are facing many social and emotional challenges as a result of lockdown measures—ranging from coping with school closures to the requirement to minimize contact with others.

The researchers behind the study think this indicates a missed opportunity to engage young people with vital health information related to the global pandemic. TikTok could potentially be used to convey messages about controlling the spread of coronavirus by the strict enforcement of social distancing. It is particularly important to impress this information upon the main TikTok audience of teenagers and young adults who can easily pass on the virus to more vulnerable and older family members.

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Scientists discover novel drug target for pancreatic cancer

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have uncovered a novel drug target, a protein called PPP1R1B, that stops the deadly spread of pancreatic cancer, called metastasis, when inhibited in mice. Published in Gastroenterology, the findings are a first step toward a potential treatment for one of the deadliest cancers known today.

“Our study uncovers a protein, called PPP1R1B, that is completely new to pancreatic cancer researchers and that drives tumor metastasis, the major reason the cancer is so lethal,” says Anindya Bagchi, Ph.D., associate professor in the Tumor Initiation and Maintenance Program at Sanford Burnham Prebys and senior author of the study. “With this proof-of-concept data, we can start drug screens that identify an inhibitor of PPP1R1B, which, if successful, may help more people survive pancreatic cancer.”

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers: Fewer than 10% of people with this type of cancer remain alive five years later. The tumor is difficult to detect because symptoms often don’t appear until the disease has already metastasized. However, if the tumor is contained in the pancreas, the five-year survival rate increases to nearly 40%, according to the American Cancer Society. For unknown reasons, pancreatic cancer is on the rise and predicted to become the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. by 2030.

A surprising finding

In the study, the scientists set out to understand how pancreatic cancer responds to oxygen deprivation (hypoxia). Cancer researchers have long wondered how pancreatic cancers are able to thrive in such a harsh environment—and speculated that increased production of hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF1A), a gene triggered by hypoxia, can stimulate tumor growth. Drugs that inhibit HIF1A are being explored for many hypoxic cancers, but until now the protein’s role in pancreatic cancer was unclear—presenting a hurdle to clinical trials evaluating these potentially promising drugs.

As a first step, the scientists created mice with pancreatic tumors that do not produce HIF1A. They expected that removing this protein would be beneficial and allow the mice to become cancer free. However, to their surprise, these mice had more aggressive tumors—with more invasion into nearby organs, greater metastasis and shorter survival times.

“Our original hypothesis was that if we remove HIF1A, a supposed driver of tumor survival, growth should be delayed or we should be curing the cancer,” says Bagchi. “Instead, we got the exact opposite results. When we saw this, we knew that we may have hit something really interesting, and needed to nail down exactly why we are seeing this effect.”

New drug target revealed

Digging deeper, the scientists discovered that these mice had increased levels of a protein called PPP1R1B. When they removed the gene that codes for this protein, the mice had fewer metastases—suggesting that a drug that inhibits the protein would stop pancreatic cancer from spreading.

“Our data also showed that tumor samples from people with metastatic pancreatic cancer had increased levels of PPP1R1B, adding further evidence that the protein has therapeutic potential,” says Ashutosh Tiwari, Ph.D., postdoctoral associate in the Bagchi lab at Sanford Burnham Prebys and first and co-lead author of the study. “Elevated levels of PPP1R1B have also been found in colon, lung and prostate cancers, and might also be seen in other hypoxic tumors, so an inhibitor may have benefits beyond pancreatic cancer.”

Next, the scientists plan to start drug screens that seek to identify compounds that inhibit PPP1R1B. These activities will take place at the Institute’s Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, one of the most advanced drug discovery centers in the nonprofit world.

“The path to a successful treatment for pancreatic cancer begins with a strong scientific understanding of what is driving the tumor’s growth and aggressiveness,” says Lynn Matrisian, Ph.D., chief science officer at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), who wasn’t involved in the study. “This study has uncovered a promising drug target that, following additional research, may one day result in a treatment that helps more people fight the world’s toughest cancer.”

A team effort

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Excessive drinking responsible for 255 deaths per day in U.S.

(HealthDay)—Excessive drinking was responsible for an average of 255 deaths per day in the United States during 2011 to 2015, according to research published in the July 31 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Marissa B. Esser, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated national and state average annual alcohol-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost (YPLL) during 2011 to 2015, including deaths from one’s own excessive drinking and from others’ drinking.

An average of 93,296 alcohol-attributable deaths (255 per day) and 2.7 million YPLL (29 years of life lost per death, on average) were identified in the United States each year. The researchers found that 54.7 percent of all alcohol-attributable deaths were caused by chronic conditions and 56.0 percent involved adults aged 35 to 64 years. Per 100,000 population, age-adjusted alcohol-attributable deaths ranged from 20.3 in New Jersey and New York to 52.3 in New Mexico. Per 100,000 population, YPLL varied from 613.8 in New York to 1,651.7 in New Mexico.

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Experts make weak recommendation for remdesivir in severe COVID-19

In The BMJ today, a panel of international experts make a weak recommendation for the use of remdesivir in patients with severe covid-19, and strongly support continued enrolment of patients into ongoing clinical trials of remdesivir.

Their advice is part of The BMJ‘s Rapid Recommendations initiative—to produce rapid and trustworthy guidelines for clinical practice based on new evidence to help doctors make better decisions with their patients.

The antiviral medication remdesivir has received worldwide attention as a potentially effective treatment for severe covid-19 and is already being used in clinical practice.

Today’s recommendation is based on a new evidence review comparing the effects of several drug treatments for covid-19 up to 20 July 2020.

It shows that remdesivir may be effective in reducing recovery time in patients with severe covid-19, although the certainty of the evidence is low. But remdesivir probably has no important effect on the need for mechanical ventilation and may have little or no effect on length of hospital stay.

The authors stress that “the effectiveness of most interventions is uncertain because most of the randomised controlled trials so far have been small and have important study limitations.”

After thoroughly reviewing this evidence, the expert panel says that most patients with severe covid-19 would likely choose treatment with remdesivir given the potential reduction in time to clinical improvement.

But given the low certainty evidence, and allowing for different patient perspectives, values, and preferences, they issued a weak recommendation with strong support for continued recruitment in trials.

They suggest that future research should focus on areas such as optimal dose and duration of therapy, and whether there are specific groups of patients most likely to benefit from remdesivir.

The authors also sound a note of caution about the potential opportunity cost of using remdesivir while the evidence base is still uncertain. As a relatively costly drug that is given intravenously, use of remdesivir may divert funds, time, attention, and workforce away from other potentially worthwhile treatments.

The study that today’s recommendation is based on is called a living systematic review.

In a linked editorial, The BMJ editors explain that living systematic reviews are useful in fast moving research areas such as covid-19 because they allow authors to update previously vetted and peer reviewed evidence summaries as new information becomes available.

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Fauci suggests goggles, eye shield for better protection against coronavirus

Dr. Fauci says he’s ‘cautiously optimistic’ about COVID vaccine trials, guarantees no corners are being cut

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, joins John Roberts with insight on ‘Special Report.’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, this week said wearing goggles or an eye shield in addition to a face mask would provide more complete protection against the coronavirus, according to a report.

“Theoretically you should protect all of the mucosal surfaces [eyes, nose, mouth], so if you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it,” he said in an interview with ABC News on Instagram Wednesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already recommends wearing a face mask that covers the nose and mouth in public but the virus can also enter through the eyes.

Fauci recommended goggles in addition to a face mask for those who want “perfect protection” from the COVID-19 but admitted it’s not “universally recommended.”

He added one of the reasons eyewear hasn’t been recommended yet is “it’s so easy for people to just make a cloth mask.”

Heading into fall, Fauci said he encourages people to get a flu vaccine and hopes face masks will protect people from the flu as well as the coronavirus, ABC reported.

Not everyone responded favorably on social media to the idea of adding eyewear to facemasks. Some remarked the next step would be hazmat suits or living inside of a bubble, according to Market Watch. 

The United States is still outpacing every other country in the number of cases with more than 4.3 million and upwards of 150,000 deaths.

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A blood test for Alzheimer's that's almost 100% accurate

Scientists create a blood test for Alzheimer’s that’s almost 100% accurate and can spot the disease two decades before symptoms begin

  • Scientists can measure a hallmark protein of the disease years before symptoms 
  • The protein, called p-tau217, clumps abnormally in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, causing memory loss, and some leaks into the bloodstream 
  • Researchers showed a blood test measuring levels of p-tau217 is 98% accurate
  • The step forward in research has been described as ‘extremely important’ 

A simple blood test can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, sometimes decades before symptoms even begin.

Scientists revealed a protein involved in the damage of brain cells accumulates in the blood of patients up to 20 years before memory declines.  

P-tau217 clumps abnormally in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients — and some tiny fragments can leak into the bloodstream.

Researchers found a blood test that measured levels of the protein was 98 per cent accurate at identifying people with the memory-robbing disease. 

The breakthrough has been described as ‘extremely important’ for the development of treatments.

The cruel disease currently has no cure but finding one would be easier if trials may start on patients as early on in the disease as possible. 

The blood test could one day be used as a screening method to spot those at risk in a similar way that doctors look for high cholesterol or high blood pressure. 

It could be used by GPs in as little as five years once the test is refined, experts said.

But others were less optimistic, warning there are huge ethical concerns to tackle — telling people they will loose their memory will be devastating.  

A simple blood test is almost 100 per cent accurate at diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, sometimes before symptoms even begin 

Some 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, the most common form of which is Alzheimer’s, accounting for around two thirds of patients. 

People with Alzheimer’s have tangles of proteins in the brain formed by tau proteins. They also have plaques formed by a protein called amyloid beta.

Amyloid beta and tau start to accumulate before any cognitive symptoms, such as memory loss and confusion, become apparent.

Tau is considered a hallmark protein of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain diseases.

It’s predominantly found in brain cells (neurons). But in people with Alzheimer’s disease, the proteins are misshapen.

 And Alzheimer’s disease is well known to feature tangles or clumps that are composed of tau protein. 

Scientists have long pointed to the importance of tau in Alzheimer’s because of evidence linking the spread of tau with disease progression. 

Another important protein is beta amyloid, the accumulation of which is largely completed at an earlier clinical stage known as mild neurocognitive disorder.

However, tau accumulation continues throughout the course of the disease, the Bright Focus Foundation reports.

Therefore, the total amount of abnormal tau in the brain is linked to disease stage and severity.

Tau clumps are not yet measurable with an available blood test, although research is ongoing. 

In the case of amyloid, a PET scan won’t identify disease severity because of amyloid’s early accumulation. 

Fluid from the spinal canal is taken to analyse for proteins related to dementia (known as a lumbar puncture). But this is not used routinely as a test for dementia and is more commonly used for research purposes.

But currently the disease can only be spotted when a person begins to show symptoms through an expensive brain scan, or a spinal tap — which takes fluid from the spine — to measure changing levels of the proteins in brain fluid. 

GPs in Britain currently rely on pen and paper memory tests to see if a patient’s decline in cognition matches up to typical scores of Alzheimer’s.

For many years, researchers have tried to develop blood tests that could detect Alzheimer’s.    

Anyone who was detected as a patient could begin treatment or be enrolled on drug trials in the early stages of the disease, when drugs are likely to be more effective and before the brain has suffered significant damage.

It is important to note, however, that there is no cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s. 

The research, by an international team from Sweden and the US, comprised of two studies which were presented today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. 

It looked at a sub-group of tau, called p-tau217. 

Researchers in the US found p-tau217 accumulates in the cerebrospinal fluid — a clear, colorless body fluid found in the brain and spinal cord — of Alzheimer’s patients before the onset of cognitive symptoms.

Levels increase with disease progression, and can accurately predict the formation of amyloid plaques seen in patients’ brain scans.

The researchers developed a method to measure the amount of p-tau217 and other tau fragments in as little as 4ml of blood.

They found that, similar to cerebrospinal fluid, p-tau217 levels in the blood were extremely low in healthy volunteers but elevated in patients with amyloid plaques.

This was the case even in those who had yet to develop cognitive symptoms, according to the study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Lead researcher Randall Bateman, professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, said: ‘Our findings support the idea that tau isoforms in the blood are potentially useful for detecting and diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease pathology.’   

Scientists at Lund University, Sweden, found that levels of p-tau217 are seven times higher in the blood of people with Alzheimer’s than those without the condition.

Levels of the protein increase in the blood up to 20 years before the onset of dementia symptoms, well before the disease is visible in brain scans.

More than 1,400 people were enrolled in the study, according to the publication in the medical journal JAMA. 

It revealed the blood test was between 89 and 98 per cent accurate at identifying which patients had Alzheimer’s, depending on how far advanced their disease was.

Lead author Dr Oskar Hansson said: ‘This test, once verified and confirmed, opens the possibility of early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s before the dementia stage, which is very important for clinical trials evaluating novel therapies that might stop or slow down the disease process.’ 

Independent experts were excited about the study findings, but cautioned there was still work to be done before a blood test is viable.


Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking skills and the ability to perform simple tasks.

It is the cause of 60 percent to 70 percent of cases of dementia.

The majority of people with Alzheimer’s are age 65 and older.

More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s.

It is unknown what causes Alzheimer’s. Those who have the APOE gene are more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer’s.

 Signs and symptoms:

  • Difficulty remembering newly learned information
  • Disorientation
  • Mood and behavioral changes
  • Suspicion about family, friends and professional caregivers
  • More serious memory loss
  • Difficulty with speaking, swallowing and walking

Stages of Alzheimer’s:

  • Mild Alzheimer’s (early-stage) – A person may be able to function independently but is having memory lapses
  • Moderate Alzheimer’s (middle-stage) – Typically the longest stage, the person may confuse words, get frustrated or angry, or have sudden behavioral changes
  • Severe Alzheimer’s disease (late-stage) – In the final stage, individuals lose the ability to respond to their environment, carry on a conversation and, eventually, control movement

Dr Amanda Heslegrave, Senior Research Fellow, UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London (UCL), said: ‘Since the methods previously used to measure these proteins such as lumbar puncture for CSF measurement or scans are either invasive or extremely costly, this is important.

‘While these are exciting results you could not say that they indicate a definitive test for potential Alzheimer’s disease is available right now.’  

Clive Ballard, a professor of age-related disease, University of Exeter Medical School, said although the research looked ‘promising’, ‘it could still be at least five years before we see an accurate blood biomarker test for dementia it in the clinic’. 

David Curtis, an honorary professor in genetics at University College London, said: ‘The results seem to be robust. From a clinical point of view, this kind of research is enormously important.

‘This will entail mass-screening, just as is now done to detect people with high cholesterol.

‘Unfortunately we do not yet have treatments to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, although tests such as this will greatly facilitate developing them. 

‘For now, the potential implications of such predictive tests could raise some challenging issues for society. There may well be some difficult ethical issues to think about.’

Professor Tara Spires-Jones, UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh, who said the results are ‘very solid’, added: ‘It is important to note that this blood test is not fool proof – there are some people with Alzheimer’s in the studies who have test results in the same ranges as healthy people.’ 

Professor John Gallacher, director of Dementias Platform UK, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, said: ‘We remain a long way from a blood test to detect Alzheimer’s disease. 

‘Simply, the predictive value of a test is much lower in a general population than in the laboratory, and the ethical concerns of getting it wrong much greater. The search continues.’ 

Despite the potential barriers ahead, Dr Rosa Sancho, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK said: ‘A reliable blood test for Alzheimer’s disease would be a huge boost for dementia research, allowing scientists to test treatments at a much earlier stage which in turn could lead to a breakthrough for those living with dementia.’

Dr Fiona Carragher, director of research and influencing at Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘A cost effective, accurate and non-invasive diagnostic test is a vital step in developing new treatments for the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today.’

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Pin-prick blood test used to test for radiation exposure in mice

A team of researchers at The Ohio State University has developed a pin-prick-type blood test for measuring the amount of radiation exposure in mice. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes building on previous work to develop the test, and how well it worked in lab mice.

As the researchers note, accidental or intentional nuclear explosions remain a threat today, despite a reduction in the arms race between superpowers. Thus, research continues on ways to treat people who are impacted by such events. People close to such an event will not likely need medical care, for obvious reasons—but for those who are far enough away to survive, a need exists to measure their radiation exposure as quickly as possible. The current method is called a dicentric chromosome assay—it involves looking for DNA damage, and sadly, can take up to three or four days to return results. People who have been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation need treatment right away because they can experience damage to their GI tract and bone marrow. In this new effort, the researchers looked for a way to return the same degree of accuracy more quickly.

The work built on the results of an effort by the same team back in 2013 in which they isolated two non-coding kinds of RNA molecules that might be useful for treating radiation exposure: miR-150-5p and miR-23a-3p. Both exist in the blood and are easily measurable. The researchers found that miR-150-5p was very sensitive to radiation exposure, while miR-23a-3p was not. This led them to conduct experiments with the molecules and test mice.

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Ethical recommendations for triage of COVID-19 patients

An international expert group led by Mathias Wirth, professor of systematic theology and ethics at the University of Bern, has developed recommendations for avoiding triage of COVID-19 patients in extreme situations. The recommendations should support medical personnel in difficult decisions during a second wave of the infection and ensure better patient care.

“A lack of intensive care ventilation units owing to rapidly increasing infection rates numbers among the most significant nightmare scenarios of the corona pandemic,” says Mathias Wirth, head of the Ethics Department in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Bern, because: “Shortages of supply can result in triage of patients suffering from severe cases of COVID-19 and thus force a life or death decision.” Here, triage means favoring some COVID-19 patients over others depending on urgency and prognosis. Together with experts from Yale University, King’s College London, Charité Berlin and Essen University Hospital, medical ethicist Mathias Wirth has prepared a statement on these difficult decisions. The statement was published in the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB), the most frequently cited scientific journal in the entire field of ethics.

Triage is only ethically justifiable under very specific circumstances

The experts warn against the possibility of prematurely implementing triage; even though triage allows for decisions based on fairness in extreme situations, it leads to significant strain on the affected parties, relatives and medical personnel. In order to avoid it, every effort must be made to transfer seriously ill patients to other hospitals without shortages of supply—across country borders in case of emergency, according to the authors.

In concrete terms, Mathias Wirth’s team of researchers recommend increased regional, national and even international collaboration in intensive care for COVID-19 patients in preparation for future waves of infection. “Just because triage is correct under some circumstances does not mean that it is correct under all circumstances,” says Wirth. “There is no real and legitimate triage situation as long as treatment spaces are available elsewhere.”

Negative decision requires special care

Secondly, a negative triage decision for individual people should not under any circumstances mean that their medical and psychological care is neglected. Quite the opposite: If they are deprived of a ventilator, maximum effort is required for their care and treatment, both for them and for their relatives.

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Scientists evaluate the perspectives of zinc intake for COVID-19 prevention

Researchers from Sechenov University in collaboration with colleagues from Germany, Greece and Russia, have reviewed scientific articles on the role of zinc in the prevention and treatment of viral infections and pneumonia, with projections on those caused by SARS-CoV-2. The results were published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine.

Zinc is necessary for normal metabolism and functioning of the reproductive, cardiovascular and nervous systems, but it is also important for the immune system, in particular for the proliferation and maturation of white blood cells (some of them are able to capture and digest microorganisms, and others to produce antibodies). In addition, zinc is involved in the regulation of inflammation. Thus, normal levels of zinc support human resistance to inflammatory and infectious diseases.

“According to the current estimates, the risk of zinc deficiency is observed in more than 1.5 billion people in the world. In Russia, deficiency of this element occurs in 20-40% of the population; in some regions it reaches 60%. Given the crucial role of zinc in regulation of immunity, one can propose that its insufficiency may be considered as a risk factor for infectious diseases,” said the research leader, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Dietetics at Sechenov University, Professor Anatoly Skalny.

The scientists reviewed the results of studies on the use of zinc-containing drugs for increasing immunity and preventing viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2. Previous studies showed that zinc and its binding substances can slow down the work of RNA polymerase (an enzyme that synthesizes viral RNA molecules) of coronaviruses and suppress their spread in the body. One of the substances that stimulates cellular zinc uptake, chloroquine, has already been tested on patients with SARS-CoV-2, but its strong side effects make it necessary to look for other compounds with a similar effect or use zinc separately. However, both options have not been sufficiently studied or tested yet.

Observations of the development of other viruses, such as rhinoviruses (this family includes pathogens of acute respiratory diseases), show that an increase in the level of zinc in cells suppresses replication of the virus and stimulates production of interferon alpha, which has an antiviral activity.

In addition, zinc deficiency is considered as one of the risk factors for the development of pneumonia: it increases the susceptibility to infectious agents and the disease duration. Several studies show the effectiveness of zinc-containing drugs in decreasing severity and duration of symptoms and reducing the prevalence of pneumonia. However, in general, data on the use of zinc as a therapy, rather than prevention, are contradictory.

Another possible application of zinc is modulation of inflammation. Existing data show that zinc ions have an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing damage to lung tissue in pneumonia. Zinc also helps the body resist bacteria, and bacterial pneumonia frequently occurs in patients with secondary viral infections.

“A recent study conducted by scientists from the U.S. confirmed our assumptions, demonstrating the effect of zinc intake on the risk of a severe course and the need for artificial ventilation in patients with COVID-19,” said Alexey Tinkov, coauthor of the article, a leading researcher at the Laboratory of Molecular Dietetics at Sechenov University.

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Researchers advise annual low-dose CT lung screening for high-risk individuals

(HealthDay)—The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends annual low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for people aged 50 to 80 years at high lung cancer risk due to smoking history. These recommendations form the basis of a draft recommendation statement, published online July 7 by the USPSTF.

Daniel E. Jonas, M.D., M.P.H., from the RTI International-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues reviewed data from seven randomized controlled trials with 86,486 participants that evaluated lung cancer screening with LDCT. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) and the Nederlands-Leuvens Longkanker Screenings Onderzoek (NELSON) were adequately powered. The researchers identified reductions in lung cancer and all-cause mortality with three rounds of annual LDCT screening versus chest X-ray for high-risk current and former smokers aged 55 to 74 years in the NLST (calculated incidence rate ratios, 0.85 and 0.93, respectively). A reduction in lung cancer mortality was seen in NELSON (calculated incidence rate ratio, 0.75) with four rounds of LDCT screening in current and former smokers aged 50 to 74 years.

Based on these findings, the USPSTF recommends annual LDCT screening for lung cancer for adults aged 50 to 80 years with a 20 pack-year smoking history and who currently smoke or who quit within the last 15 years (B recommendation).

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