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Applying Risk Prediction Models to Optimize Lung Cancer Screening: Current Knowledge, Challenges, and Future Directions

Risk prediction models may be useful for facilitating effective and high-quality decision-making at critical steps in the lung cancer screening process. This review provides a current overview of published lung cancer risk prediction models and their applications to lung cancer screening and highlights both challenges and strategies for improving their predictive performance and use in clinical practice. Since the 2011 publication of the National Lung Screening Trial results, numerous prediction models have been proposed to estimate the probability of developing or dying from lung cancer or the probability that a pulmonary nodule is malignant. Respective models appear to exhibit high discriminatory accuracy in identifying individuals at highest risk of lung cancer or differentiating malignant from benign pulmonary nodules. However, validation and critical comparison of the performance of these models in independent populations are limited. Little is also known about the extent to which risk prediction models are being applied in clinical practice and influencing decision-making processes and outcomes related to lung cancer screening. Current evidence is insufficient to determine which lung cancer risk prediction models are most clinically useful and how to best implement their use to optimize screening effectiveness and quality. To address these knowledge gaps, future research should be directed toward validating and enhancing existing risk prediction models for lung cancer and evaluating the application of model-based risk calculators and its corresponding impact on screening processes and outcomes.

Authors: Sakoda LC; Henderson LM; Caverly TJ; Wernli KJ; Katki HA

Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2017 Dec;4(4):307-320. Epub 2017-10-24.

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