A computer-aided detection (CAD) method may help radiologists identify
cancerous lung nodules at an early stage, according to a study
performed at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.
“In our study we identified 88 nodules that were not detected at the
time of interpretation but visible in retrospect and were subsequently
determined to be lung cancers,” said Joseph Jen-Sho Chen, MD, lead
author of the study. “CAD was applied to the overlooked nodules and we
found that 45-55% of the missed nodules were found using the CAD
software. The implication of our study is that it is possible that at
least some of the nodules representing lung cancer might have been
diagnosed at an earlier stage, resulting in early treatment and perhaps
a better outcome,” said Dr. Chen.
“The complexity of the structures in the chest including the ribs,
mediastinum and pulmonary vessels can make it difficult to identify
separate pulmonary nodules that may represent an early lung cancer from
normal anatomy,” said Dr. Chen. “Computer-aided detection is a method
that can be used to assist the radiologist in the search for lung
cancer. The software highlights abnormalities that may be overlooked by
the radiologist on an initial search,” said Dr. Chen.
“Lung cancer accounts for more than 150,000 deaths annually in the US
alone. Overall, only about 15% of patients survive five years or more,
but with early detection, survival increases to greater than 70%,” said
Dr. Chen. “The use of CAD may be particularly valuable in early lung
cancer, where the findings are often subtle,” he said.
“We hope ultimately that studies such as ours will determine whether
CAD should be adopted as part of the standard armamentarium for
evaluating lung nodules,” said Dr. Chen.
News release courtesy of The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS)