Small median tumor diameter at cure threshold (<20 mm) among aggressive non-small cell lung cancers in male smokers predicts both chest X-ray and CT screening outcomes in a novel simulation framework
Goldwasser, Deborah L.; Kimmel, Marek
The effectiveness of population-wide lung cancer screening strategies depends on the underlying natural course of lung cancer. We evaluate the expected stage distribution in the Mayo CT screening study under an existing simulation model of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) progression calibrated to the Mayo lung project (MLP). Within a likelihood framework, we evaluate whether the probability of 5-year NSCLC survival conditional on tumor diameter at detection depends significantly on screening detection modality, namely chest X-ray and computed tomography. We describe a novel simulation framework in which tumor progression depends on cellular proliferation and mutation within a stem cell compartment of the tumor. We fit this model to randomized trial data from the MLP and produce estimates of the median radiologic size at the cure threshold. We examine the goodness of model fit with respect to radiologic tumor size and 5-year NSCLC survival among incident cancers in both the MLP and Mayo CT studies. An existing model of NSCLC progression under-predicts the number of advanced-stage incident NSCLCs among males in the Mayo CT study (p-value = 0.004). The probability of 5-year NSCLC survival conditional on tumor diameter depends significantly on detection modality (p-value = 0.0312). In our new model, selected solution sets having a median tumor diameter of 16.2ﾖ22.1 mm at cure threshold among aggressive NSCLCs predict both MLP and Mayo CT outcomes. We conclude that the median lung tumor diameter at cure threshold among aggressive NSCLCs in male smokers may be small (<20 mm).