CRA Insights

Should we screen for lung cancer? A 10-country analysis identifying key decision-making factors

June 6, 2022

The need for early detection, both early diagnosis and screening is essential for improved prognosis in lung cancer. The effectiveness of lung cancer screening using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for high-risk patients has been shown by extensive clinical evidence including the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) and the Dutch-Belgian lung cancer screening trial (NELSON) which has triggered political consideration of a formal program across countries. However, implementation of these is still limited. This study investigates how governments make decisions on the implementation of lung cancer screening, identifying key consideration factors through 10 case study countries: Australia, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, UK, and US. We identified five decision-making factors (1) recognition of the disease burden and the value of early detection, (2) strong clinical data showing mortality reduction and benefit-risk analysis relevant to the local context, (3) cost-effectiveness data and budget impact, (4) local feasibility demonstration and (5) a clear and integrated decision-making mechanism involving relevant stakeholders. The set of factors identified in this paper can help advocates address knowledge gaps, identify the key focus areas for discussions with policymakers evaluating the opportunities for lung cancer screening programs in their local context. Ultimately, this should allow policymakers to make more informed decisions on lung cancer screening to best improve lung cancer outcomes.

Additional contributors