Background: Alkylating agents and thoracic radiation put survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) at excess risk of lung cancer (30-year cumulative incidence 6.4%). Lung cancer screening (LCS) using low-dose CT thorax (LDCT) scans reduces lung cancer mortality in ever smokers in the general population by detecting early-stage lung cancers. We ran an LCS pilot in HL survivors, who are generally ineligible for LCS programmes aimed at the general population.
Methods: 218 5+ year survivors of HL treated with mustine or procarbazine and/or thoracic radiation were identified from a follow-up database (ADAPT) hosted at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and sent a letter of invitation. Participants underwent a baseline LDCT scan. Scans were reported as negative/indeterminate/positive in accordance with lung nodule guidelines. Indeterminate nodules required a further LDCT scan 3-months later. Participants with a positive scan were referred to lung cancer services.
Results: Of the 218 invited to the study 54% were female, median age was 53 (range 25-80), median years since treatment 21 (6-45). 12 were ineligible. 127 (59%) expressed interest in participating. The uptake among eligible responders was 83% (102/123). Participation was not influenced by age or gender. Baseline LDCT scan results in 102 participants were: 90 (88.2%) negative, 10 (9.8%) indeterminate, 2 (2.0%) positive. 3-month surveillance LDCT scan results (n=9) were: positive (2), stable (5), with 2 pending. Among 4 participants with positive baseline or 3-month scans, 1 has been diagnosed with early-stage small-cell lung cancer and treated with curative intent, 1 is undergoing tests for presumed lung cancer and 2 are undergoing further surveillance. Coronary artery calcification was detected in 36.3%. Clinically significant incidental findings including emphysema, bronchiectasis, pulmonary inflammation/infection, metastatic breast cancer and vertebral insufficiency fractures were seen in 20 (19.6%). Notably, 3/35 participants who were ever smokers met the age and risk criteria for LCS through the programme aimed at the general population.
Conclusion: LDCT scanning protocols tested in the general population are appropriate for use in the HL survivor population in a future targeted LCS programme. The feasibility of such a programme is contingent on developing methods to identify and contact long-term survivors of HL at risk of lung cancer and on investigating and addressing barriers to uptake.
Rachel Broadbent, Philip Crosbie, John Radford, Christopher J. Armitage, Ben Taylor, Joseph Mercer, Sean Tenant, Kim Linton