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A. A Landmark National Lung Screening Trial

Narrator: This is Science Today. About forty sites across the country plan to enroll 50 thousand healthy current or former smokers between ages 55 and 70 in the National Lung Screening Trial. Dr. Jonathan Goldin, co-leader of the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center's trial, says the objective is to determine whether screening for lung cancer in at-risk individuals using either chest x-rays or CT scans, are effective screening modes.

Goldin: It's primary end point is whether screening with either of these two modalities leads to mortality reduction, which is probably the only true test of the efficacy of a screening test. And secondly, of these two imaging modalities, does one offer any benefit over the other?

Narrator: Lung cancer is the number one cause for cancer death in this country, but there is currently no standard approach to screening.

Goldin: A CT scan will find tiny lesions within the lung that you cannot see with a chest x-ray, but the automatic conclusion that that is better is not necessarily true.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.