Matthijs Oudkerk, MD, Professor of Radiology at the University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands, and Principal Investigator for Radiology of the NELSON Lung Cancer Detection Study, stressed that detecting individuals who have early-stage lung cancer with more virulent biologic behavior is important only if it leads to effective intervention. “This was a crucial topic in the last years before we opened up the outcome of the NELSON study,” said Dr. Oudkerk. “The only thing that could spoil the end result was treatment delay.”
Matthijs Oudkerk, MD
“If you do the early diagnostics but don’t have an adequate interval treatment, then early detection doesn’t make any sense,” he added.
As Dr. Oudkerk explained, there were pulmonologists in the NELSON study who waited to treat patients “because they didn’t trust the outcomes,” and this ultimately reduced the impact of early detection. “We should emphasize that the treatment is related to early detection,” he concluded. “There’s no way you can be successful with early detection without early treatment.”
DISCLOSURE: Dr. Oudkerk reported no conflicts of interest.
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