The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is updating its 2013 lung cancer screening guidelines, which recommend annual screening for adults aged 55 through 80 years who have a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.To inform the USPSTF guidelines by estimating the benefits and harms associated with various low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening strategies.Comparative simulation modeling with 4 lung cancer natural history models for individuals from the 1950 and 1960 US birth cohorts who were followed up from aged 45 through 90 years.Screening with varying starting ages, stopping ages, and screening frequency. Eligibility criteria based on age, cumulative pack-years, and years since quitting smoking (risk factor-based) or on age and individual lung cancer risk estimation using risk prediction models with varying eligibility thresholds (risk model-based). A total of 1092 LDCT screening strategies were modeled. Full uptake and adherence were assumed for all scenarios.Estimated lung cancer deaths averted and life-years gained (benefits) compared with no screening. Estimated lifetime number of LDCT screenings, false-positive results, biopsies, overdiagnosed cases, and radiation-related lung cancer deaths (harms).Efficient screening programs estimated to yield the most benefits for a given number of screenings were identified. Most of the efficient risk factor-based strategies started screening at aged 50 or 55 years and stopped at aged 80 years. The 2013 USPSTF-recommended criteria were not among the efficient strategies for the 1960 US birth cohort. Annual strategies with a minimum criterion of 20 pack-years of smoking were efficient and, compared with the 2013 USPSTF-recommended criteria, were estimated to increase screening eligibility (20.6%-23.6% vs 14.1% of the population ever eligible), lung cancer deaths averted (469-558 per 100 000 vs 381 per 100 000), and life-years gained (6018-7596 per 100 000 vs 4882 per 100 000). However, these strategies were estimated to result in more false-positive test results (1.9-2.5 per person screened vs 1.9 per person screened with the USPSTF strategy), overdiagnosed lung cancer cases (83-94 per 100 000 vs 69 per 100 000), and radiation-related lung cancer deaths (29.0-42.5 per 100 000 vs 20.6 per 100 000). Risk model-based vs risk factor-based strategies were estimated to be associated with more benefits and fewer radiation-related deaths but more overdiagnosed cases.Microsimulation modeling studies suggested that LDCT screening for lung cancer compared with no screening may increase lung cancer deaths averted and life-years gained when optimally targeted and implemented. Screening individuals at aged 50 or 55 years through aged 80 years with 20 pack-years or more of smoking exposure was estimated to result in more benefits than the 2013 USPSTF-recommended criteria and less disparity in screening eligibility by sex and race/ethnicity.
Rafael Meza, Jihyoun Jeon, Iakovos Toumazis, Kevin Ten Haaf, Pianpian Cao, Mehrad Bastani, Summer S Han, Erik F Blom, Daniel E Jonas, Eric J Feuer, Sylvia K Plevritis, Harry J de Koning, Chung Yin Kong