Comparison of pathologic findings of baseline and annual repeat cancers diagnosed on CT screening
Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Screening for lung cancer produces two groups of lung cancers. Baseline cases include all prevalent cases with the expectation that slower-growing cancers and those that have achieved higher stage will be found in greater frequency. Repeat examination is expected to detect those cancers which have crossed the threshold for detection during the screening interval - 1 year in this study - and these are typically more rapidly growing cancers. The two groups encompass the full spectrum of lung cancers. Comparison of the baseline and annual repeat cases revealed differences in types of lung cancer. There were 202 baseline-detected cancers spanning the spectrum of pulmonary neoplasms with some slowly growing, some rapidly progressive and some at high stage; the 48 annual repeat cancers also included a spectrum of lung cancers but with more of the rapidly growing types, and more closely approximated the clinical spectrum of lung cancers. The NE carcinomas showed this trend best; small-cell carcinomas were under-represented and typical carcinoids were only found in the baseline group. Repeat cancers were found to grow rapidly, were typically smaller, less often multiple and the adenocarcinomas were less often pure BAC and less frequently contained a BAC component when invasive. The baseline adenocarcinomas included most of the BAC's, which is a diagnosis that requires special attention to its WHO definition. AAH was found to be frequently associated with adenocarcinoma, particularly BAC. Both baseline and annual repeat cases had a high percentage of invasive carcinomas with comparably high rates of resectability, high rates of node negativity and consequently a high proportion of cases in low stage.