Current smokers have an increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk compared to ex-smokers due to reversible as well as irreversible effects of smoking. We investigated if current smokers remain to have an increased CVD risk compared to ex-smokers in subjects with a long and intense smoking history. We in addition studied if the effect of smoking continuation on CVD risk is independent of or modified by the presence of cardiovascular calcifications.
The cohort used comprised a sample of 3559 male lung cancer screening trial participants. We conducted a case-cohort study using all CVD cases and a random sample of 10% (n = 341) from the baseline cohort (subcohort). A weighted Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the hazard ratios for current smoking status in relation to CVD events.
During a median follow-up of 2.6 years (max. 3.7 years), 263 fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events (cases) were identified. Age, packyears and cardiovascular calcification adjusted hazard ratio of current smokers compared to former smokers was 1.33 (95% confidence interval 1.00–1.77). In additional analyses that incorporated multiplicative interaction terms, neither coronary nor aortic calcifications modified the association between smoking status and cardiovascular risk (P = 0.08).
Current smokers have an increased CVD risk compared to former smokers even in subjects with a long and intense smoking history. Smoking exerts its hazardous effects on CVD risk by pathways partly independent of cardiovascular calcifications.
Obesity affects multiple points along the breast cancer control continuum from prevention to screening and treatment, often in opposing directions. Obesity is also more prevalent in Blacks than Whites at most ages so it might contribute to observed racial disparities in mortality. We use two established simulation models from the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) to evaluate the impact of obesity on race-specific breast cancer outcomes. The models use common national data to inform parameters for the multiple US birth cohorts of Black and White women, including age- and race-specific incidence, competing mortality, mammography characteristics, and treatment effectiveness. Parameters are modified by obesity (BMI of ≥30 kg/m2) in conjunction with its age-, race-, cohort- and time-period-specific prevalence. We measure age-standardized breast cancer incidence and mortality and cases and deaths attributable to obesity. Obesity is more prevalent among Blacks than Whites until age 74; after age 74 it is more prevalent in Whites. The models estimate that the fraction of the US breast cancer cases attributable to obesity is 3.9–4.5 % (range across models) for Whites and 2.5–3.6 % for Blacks. Given the protective effects of obesity on risk among women <50 years, elimination of obesity in this age group could increase cases for both the races, but decrease cases for women ≥50 years. Overall, obesity accounts for 4.4–9.2 % and 3.1–8.4 % of the total number of breast cancer deaths in Whites and Blacks, respectively, across models. However, variations in obesity prevalence have no net effect on race disparities in breast cancer mortality because of the opposing effects of age on risk and patterns of age- and race-specific prevalence. Despite its modest impact on breast cancer control and race disparities, obesity remains one of the few known modifiable risks for cancer and other diseases, underlining its relevance as a public health target.
Simulation modeling; Breast cancer; Disparities; Obesity
To identify facilitators of, and barriers to, screening for child abuse in emergency departments (ED) through interviews with ED staff, members of the hospital Board, and related experts.
This qualitative study is based on semi-structured interviews with 27 professionals from seven Dutch hospitals (i.e. seven pediatricians, two surgeons, six ED nurses, six ED managers and six hospital Board members). The resulting list of facilitators/barriers was subsequently discussed with five experts in child abuse and one implementation expert. The results are ordered using the Child Abuse Framework of the Dutch Health Care Inspectorate that legally requires screening for child abuse.
Lack of knowledge of child abuse, communication with parents in the case of suspected abuse, and lack of time for development of policy and cases are barriers for ED staff to screen for child abuse. For Board members, lack of means and time, and a high turnover of ED staff are impediments to improving their child abuse policy. Screening can be promoted by training ED staff to better recognize child abuse, improving communication skills, appointing an attendant specifically for child abuse, explicit support of the screening policy by management, and by national implementation of an approved protocol and validated screening instrument.
ED staff are motivated to work according to the Dutch Health Care Inspectorate requirements but experiences many barriers, particularly communication with parents of children suspected of being abused. Introduction of a national child abuse protocol can improve screening on child abuse at EDs.
Child abuse; Emergency department; Screening; Qualitative study
Optimal US screening strategies remain controversial. We use six simulation models to evaluate screening outcomes under varying strategies.
The models incorporate common data on incidence, mammography characteristics, and treatment effects. We evaluate varying initiation and cessation ages applied annually or biennially and calculate mammograms, mortality reduction (vs. no screening), false-positives, unnecessary biopsies and over-diagnosis.
The lifetime risk of breast cancer death starting at age 40 is 3% and is reduced by screening. Screening biennially maintains 81% (range 67% to 99%) of annual screening benefits with fewer false-positives. Biennial screening from 50–74 reduces the probability of breast cancer death from 3% to 2.3%. Screening annually from 40 to 84 only lowers mortality an additional one-half of one percent to 1.8% but requires substantially more mammograms and yields more false-positives and over-diagnosed cases.
Decisions about screening strategy depend on preferences for benefits vs. potential harms and resource considerations.
Mammography; Screening; Modeling
Hepatocellular adenoma (HCA) in pregnant women requires special considerations because of the risk of hormone induced growth and spontaneous rupture, which may threaten the life of both mother and child. Due to scarcity of cases there is no evidence-based algorithm for the evaluation and management of HCA during pregnancy. Most experts advocate that women with HCA should not get pregnant or advise surgical resection before pregnancy. Whether it is justified to deny a young woman a pregnancy, as the biological behavior may be less threatening than presumed depends on the incidence of HCA growth and the subsequent clinical events during pregnancy.
We aim to investigate the management and outcome of HCA during pregnancy and labor based on a prospectively acquired online database in the Netherlands.
The Pregnancy And Liver adenoma Management (PALM) - study is a multicentre prospective study in three cohorts of pregnant patients. In total 50 pregnant patients, ≥ 18 years of age with a radiologically and/or histologically proven diagnosis of HCA will be included in the study. Radiological diagnosis of HCA will be based on contrast enhanced MRI. Lesions at inclusion must not exceed 5 cm. The study group will be compared to a healthy control group of 63 pregnant patients and a group of 63 pregnant patients with diabetes mellitus without HCA. During their pregnancy HCA patients will be closely monitored by means of repetitive ultrasound (US) at 14, 20, 26, 32 and 38 weeks of gestation and 6 and 12 weeks postpartum. Both control groups will undergo US of the liver at 14 weeks of gestation to exclude HCA lesions in the liver. All groups will be asked to fill out quality of life related questionnaires.
The study will obtain information about the behaviour of HCA during pregnancy, the clinical consequences for mother and child and the impact of having a HCA during pregnancy on the health related quality of life of these young women. As a result of this study we will propose a decision-making model for the management of HCA during pregnancy.
Dutch trial register: NTR3034
Making an informed decision about treating a prostate cancer detected following a routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test requires knowledge about disease natural history, such as the chances that it would have been clinically diagnosed in the absence of screening and that it would metastasize or lead to death in the absence of treatment.
We use three independently developed models of prostate cancer natural history to project risks of clinical progression events and disease-specific deaths for PSA-detected cases assuming they receive no primary treatment.
The three models project that 20–33% of men have preclinical onset; of these 38–50% would be clinically diagnosed and 12–25% would die of the disease in the absence of screening and primary treatment. The risk that men under age 60 at PSA detection with Gleason score 2–7 would have been clinically diagnosed in the absence of screening is 67–93% and would die of the disease in the absence of primary treatment is 23–34%. For Gleason score 8–10 these risks are 90–96% and 63–83%.
Risks of disease progression among untreated PSA-detected cases can be nontrivial, particularly for younger men and men with high Gleason scores. Model projections can be useful for informing decisions about treatment.
This is the first study to project population-based natural history summaries in the absence of screening or primary treatment and risks of clinical progression events following PSA detection in the absence of primary treatment.
Comparative modeling; natural history; prostatic neoplasm; PSA screening
Considerable effort has been expended on tobacco control strategies in the United States since the mid-1950s. However, we have little quantitative information on how changes in smoking behaviors have impacted lung cancer mortality. We quantified the cumulative impact of changes in smoking behaviors that started in the mid-1950s on lung cancer mortality in the United States over the period 1975–2000.
A consortium of six groups of investigators used common inputs consisting of simulated cohort-wise smoking histories for the birth cohorts of 1890 through 1970 and independent models to estimate the number of US lung cancer deaths averted during 1975–2000 as a result of changes in smoking behavior that began in the mid-1950s. We also estimated the number of deaths that could have been averted had tobacco control been completely effective in eliminating smoking after the Surgeon General’s first report on Smoking and Health in 1964.
Approximately 795 851 US lung cancer deaths were averted during the period 1975–2000: 552 574 among men and 243 277 among women. In the year 2000 alone, approximately 70 218 lung cancer deaths were averted: 44 135 among men and 26 083 among women. However, these numbers are estimated to represent approximately 32% of lung cancer deaths that could have potentially been averted during the period 1975–2000, 38% of the lung cancer deaths that could have been averted in 1991–2000, and 44% of lung cancer deaths that could have been averted in 2000.
Our results reflect the cumulative impact of changes in smoking behavior since the 1950s. Despite a large impact of changing smoking behaviors on lung cancer deaths, lung cancer remains a major public health problem. Continued efforts at tobacco control are critical to further reduce the burden of this disease.
US Black women have higher breast cancer mortality rates than White women despite lower incidence. The aim of this study is to investigate how much of the mortality disparity can be attributed to racial differences in natural history, uptake of mammography screening and use of adjuvant therapy.
Two simulation models use common national race- and age-specific data for incidence, screening and treatment dissemination, stage distributions, survival and competing mortality from 1975 to 2010. Treatment effectiveness and mammography sensitivity are assumed to be the same for both races. We sequentially substituted Black parameters into the White model to identify parameters that drive the higher mortality for Black women in the current time period.
Both models accurately reproduced observed breast cancer incidence, stage and tumor size distributions and breast cancer mortality for White women. The higher mortality for Black women could be attributed to differences in natural history parameters (26–44%), use of adjuvant therapy (11–19%) and uptake of mammography screening (7–8%), leaving 38–46% unexplained.
Black women appear to have benefited less from cancer control advances than White women, with a greater race-related gap in the use of adjuvant therapy than screening. However, a greater portion of the disparity in mortality appears to be due to differences in natural history and undetermined factors.
Breast cancer mortality may be reduced substantially by ensuring that Black women receive equal adjuvant treatment and screening as White women. More research on racial variation in breast cancer biology and treatment utilization is needed.
breast neoplasms; mammography; adjuvant therapy; mortality; healthcare disparities; continental population groups; computer simulation
Estimates of overdiagnosis in mammography screening range from 1% to 54%. This review explains such variations using gradual implementation of mammography screening in the Netherlands as an example. Breast cancer incidence without screening was predicted with a micro-simulation model. Observed breast cancer incidence (including ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive breast cancer) was modeled and compared with predicted incidence without screening during various phases of screening program implementation. Overdiagnosis was calculated as the difference between the modeled number of breast cancers with and the predicted number of breast cancers without screening. Estimating overdiagnosis annually between 1990 and 2006 illustrated the importance of the time at which overdiagnosis is measured. Overdiagnosis was also calculated using several estimators identified from the literature. The estimated overdiagnosis rate peaked during the implementation phase of screening, at 11.4% of all predicted cancers in women aged 0–100 years in the absence of screening. At steady-state screening, in 2006, this estimate had decreased to 2.8%. When different estimators were used, the overdiagnosis rate in 2006 ranged from 3.6% (screening age or older) to 9.7% (screening age only). The authors concluded that the estimated overdiagnosis rate in 2006 could vary by a factor of 3.5 when different denominators were used. Calculations based on earlier screening program phases may overestimate overdiagnosis by a factor 4. Sufficient follow-up and agreement regarding the chosen estimator are needed to obtain reliable estimates.
breast neoplasms; early detection of cancer; incidence; mammography; mass screening; overdiagnosis; risk
Trials often do not succeed in including as many patients as anticipated beforehand. The aim of this paper was to describe why we were not able to include more than a few patients in our randomized controlled treatment trial on the effectiveness of bracing patients with idiopathic scoliosis, and to describe which lessons can be learnt. A pilot study on the willingness to participate in such a trial was conducted amongst 21 patients and their parents. A description of how we prepared and designed this trial, the problems we faced and how we tried to improve the inclusion are given. A total of four patients were included, and 14 refused to participate in an 18-month period. There were a lot less eligible patients than anticipated (40 instead of 100 per year), and the patients’ participation rate was much lower than we had found in our pilot study (21% instead of 70%). The trial failed to include more than a few patients because of an overestimation of the number of eligible patients and because a lot less eligible patients were willing to participate compared to our pilot study. One reason for a low participation rate could be that this trial evaluated a frequently used existing treatment instead of a new treatment, and patients and parents might be afraid of not being treated (despite an intensive secure system for the control arm).
Idiopathic scoliosis; Brace; Randomized controlled trial; Treatment
This study examines the detection rates of suspected child abuse in the emergency departments of seven Dutch hospitals complying and not complying with screening guidelines for child abuse.
Data on demographics, diagnosis and suspected child abuse were collected for all children aged ≤18 years who visited the emergency departments over a 6-month period. The completion of a checklist of warning signs of child abuse in at least 10% of the emergency department visits was considered to be compliance with screening guidelines.
A total of 24 472 visits were analysed, 54% of which took place in an emergency department complying with screening guidelines. Child abuse was suspected in 52 children (0.2%). In 40 (77%) of these 52 cases, a checklist of warning signs had been completed compared with a completion rate of 19% in the total sample. In hospitals complying with screening guidelines for child abuse, the detection rate was higher (0.3%) than in those not complying (0.1%, p<0.001).
During a 6-month period, emergency department staff suspected child abuse in 0.2% of all children visiting the emergency department of seven Dutch hospitals. The numbers of suspected abuse cases detected were low, but an increase is likely if uniform screening guidelines are widely implemented.
Dissemination of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing in the United States coincided with an increasing incidence of prostate cancer, a shift to earlier stage disease at diagnosis, and decreasing prostate cancer mortality. We compared PSA screening performance with respect to prostate cancer detection in the US population vs in the Rotterdam section of the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC–Rotterdam). We developed a simulation model for prostate cancer and PSA screening for ERSPC–Rotterdam. This model was then adapted to the US population by replacing demography parameters with US-specific ones and the screening protocol with the frequency of PSA tests in the US population. We assumed that the natural progression of prostate cancer and the sensitivity of a PSA test followed by a biopsy were the same in the United States as in ERSPC–Rotterdam. The predicted prostate cancer incidence peak in the United States was then substantially higher than the observed prostate cancer incidence peak (13.3 vs 8.1 cases per 1000 man-years). However, the actual observed incidence was reproduced by assuming a substantially lower PSA test sensitivity in the United States than in ERSPC–Rotterdam. For example, for nonpalpable local- or regional-stage cancers (ie, stage T1M0), the estimates of PSA test sensitivity were 0.26 in the United States vs 0.94 in ERSPC–Rotterdam. We conclude that the efficacy of PSA screening in detecting prostate cancer was lower in the United States than in ERSPC–Rotterdam.
The effectiveness of bracing patients with IS has not yet been convincingly established due to a lack of RCTs. Some authors suggest that their results confirm that bracing is effective; others conclude that the effectiveness of bracing is doubtful or recommend a RCT. The aim of this study was to establish whether bracing patients with idiopathic scoliosis (IS) in an early stage will result in at least 5 degrees less mean progression of the curvature compared to the control group after two years of follow-up.
A randomized controlled trial was designed. Eligible patients are girls and boys in the age group 8–15 years whose diagnosis of IS has been established by an orthopedic surgeon, who have not yet been treated by bracing or surgery, and for whom further growth of physical height is still expected based on medical examination and maturation characteristics (Risser ≤ 2). The Cobb angle of the eligible patient should either be minimally 22 and maximally 29 degrees with established progression of more than 5 degrees, or should be minimally 30 and maximally 35 degrees; established progression for the latter is not necessary. A total of 100 patients will be included in this trial. The intervention group will be treated with full-time Boston brace wear; the control group will not be braced. Every four months, each patient will have a physical and an X-ray examination. The main outcomes will be the Cobb angle two years after inclusion and health-related quality of life.
The results of this trial will be of great importance for the discussion on early treatment for scoliosis. Furthermore, the result will also be important for screening for scoliosis policies.
Nederlands Trialregister ISRCTN36964733
For treatment of teenagers with progressive adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in an early stage, two options are generally considered: treatment with a brace or observation followed by surgery if necessary. Many doctors and patients prefer conservative treatment (i.e. brace treatment) to surgical treatment, because surgery of the spine is generally considered a drastic intervention. Because potential differences in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after treatment between braced and surgically treated patients are not well explored, this study aimed to determine whether short-term differences exist in HRQoL between adolescents treated with a brace or treated surgically. A cross-sectional analysis of HRQoL was made of 109 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who, after completing treatment, filled out the Dutch SRS-22 Patient Questionnaire. All patients had been treated either with a brace or surgery, or with a brace followed by surgery. Patients treated surgically had significantly higher mean scores in the satisfaction with management domain than those treated with a brace. No other consistent differences in HRQoL were found between patients treated with a brace and patients treated surgically. Gender, curve type and curve size had no relevant effect on HRQoL. We conclude that short-term differences in HRQoL after treatment in adolescent patients with idiopathic scoliosis are negligible and cannot support preference of one treatment above the other.
Quality of life; Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Brace; Surgery
Whether a prostate cancer diagnosis induces response shift has not been established so far. Therefore, we assessed response shift in men who were diagnosed with localized prostate cancer.
Patients and methods
Out of 3,892 men who completed a questionnaire before screening, 82 were subsequently diagnosed with prostate cancer. Response shift was assessed in 52 (response 63%) by the then-test (EuroQol self-rating of health, Short-Form 36 mental health and vitality) and a novel method: rating of vignettes relating to side effects of prostate cancer treatment (urinary, bowel and erectile dysfunction). Three then-tests were conducted: two referencing pre-diagnosis (measured pre- and post-treatment), and one referencing pre-treatment (measured post-treatment).
Then-test scores of pre-diagnosis health were significantly higher than original scores, indicating a more positive judgement in retrospect. Then-test scores of pre-treatment health were lower than original scores. Especially the vignette on erectile dysfunction was rated less bad after diagnosis versus before (P < 0.001, moderate effect size).
We found evidence for response shift in men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Men evaluated urinary, bowel, and erectile dysfunction as less bad after they had become patients who can expect to experience these side effects. The rating of vignettes is a promising additional technique to assess response shift.
Patient-reported outcome; Prostate cancer; Quality of life; Response shift
There is a delicate balance between the favourable and unfavourable side-effects of screening in general. Overdiagnosis, the detection of breast cancers by screening that would otherwise never have been clinically diagnosed but are now consequently treated, is such an unfavourable side effect. To correctly model the natural history of breast cancer, one has to estimate mean durations of the different pre-clinical phases, transition probabilities to clinical cancer stages, and sensitivity of the applied test based on observed screen and clinical data. The Dutch data clearly show an increase in screen-detected cases in the 50 to 74 year old age group since the introduction of screening, and a decline in incidence around age 80 years. We had estimated that 3% of total incidence would otherwise not have been diagnosed clinically. This magnitude is no reason not to offer screening for women aged 50 to 74 years. The increases in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) are primarily due to mammography screening, but DCIS still remains a relatively small proportion of the total breast cancer problem.
There is increasing evidence that structural lung changes may be present before the occurrence of airflow limitation as assessed by spirometry. This study investigated the prevalence of computed tomography (CT) quantified emphysema, airway wall thickening and gas trapping according to classification of airflow limitation (FEV1/FVC <70% and/or < the lower limit of normal (LLN)) in (heavy) smokers.
A total number of 1,140 male former and current smokers participating in a lung cancer screenings trial (NELSON) were included and underwent chest CT scanning and spirometry. Emphysema was quantified by the 15th percentile, air way wall thickening by the square root of wall area for a theoretical airway with 10mm lumen perimeter (Pi10) and gas trapping by the mean lung density expiratory/inspiratory (E/I)-ratio. Participants were classified by entry FEV1/FVC: group 1>70%; group 2<70% but >LLN; and group 370% but FEV1 <80% predicted, were excluded. Multivariate regression analysis correcting for covariates was used to asses the extent of emphysema, airway wall thickening and gas trapping according to three groups of airflow limitation.
Mean (standard deviation) age was 62.5 (5.2) years and packyears smoked was 41.0 (18.0). Group 2 subjects when compared to group 1 had a significantly lower 15th percentile, −920.6 HU versus −912.2 HU; a higher Pi10, 2.87 mm versus 2.57 mm; and a higher E/I-ratio, 88.6% versus 85.6% (all p<0.001).
Subjects with an FEV1/FVC<70%, but above the LLN, have a significant greater degree of structural lung changes on CT compared to subjects without airflow limitation.
To quantify the extent to which a clinically significant prostate cancer mortality reduction due screening could have been masked by control arm screening (contamination) in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) trial.
We used three independently developed models of prostate cancer natural history to conduct a virtual PLCO trial. Simulated participants underwent pre-trial screening based on population patterns. The intervention arm followed observed compliance during the trial then resumed population screening. A contaminated control arm followed observed contamination during the trial then resumed population screening, while an uncontaminated control arm discontinued screening upon entry. We assumed a clinically significant screening benefit, applied population treatments and survival patterns, and calculated mortality rate ratios relative to the contaminated and uncontaminated control arms.
The virtual trial reproduced observed incidence, including stage and grade distributions, and control arm mortality after 10 years of complete follow-up. Under the assumed screening benefit, the three models found that contamination increased the mortality rate ratio from 0.68–0.77 to 0.86–0.91, increased the chance of excess mortality in the intervention arm from 0–4% to 15–28%, and decreased the power of the trial to detect a mortality difference from 40–70% to 9–25%.
Our computer simulation models indicate that contamination substantially limited the ability of the PLCO to identify a clinically significant screening benefit. While the trial shows annual screening doesn’t reduce mortality relative to population screening, contamination prevents concluding whether screening reduces mortality relative to no screening.
Computer simulation; early detection of cancer; mortality; prostate-specific antigen; prostatic neoplasms; randomized controlled trial
Beyond lung cancer, screening CT contains additional information on other smoking related diseases (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD). Since pulmonary function testing is not regularly incorporated in lung cancer screening, imaging biomarkers for COPD are likely to provide important surrogate measures for disease evaluation. Therefore, this study aims to determine the independent diagnostic value of CT emphysema, CT air trapping and CT bronchial wall thickness for COPD in low-dose screening CT scans.
Prebronchodilator spirometry and volumetric inspiratory and expiratory chest CT were obtained on the same day in 1140 male lung cancer screening participants. Emphysema, air trapping and bronchial wall thickness were automatically quantified in the CT scans. Logistic regression analysis was performed to derivate a model to diagnose COPD. The model was internally validated using bootstrapping techniques.
Each of the three CT biomarkers independently contributed diagnostic value for COPD, additional to age, body mass index, smoking history and smoking status. The diagnostic model that included all three CT biomarkers had a sensitivity and specificity of 73.2% and 88.%, respectively. The positive and negative predictive value were 80.2% and 84.2%, respectively. Of all participants, 82.8% was assigned the correct status. The C-statistic was 0.87, and the Net Reclassification Index compared to a model without any CT biomarkers was 44.4%. However, the added value of the expiratory CT data was limited, with an increase in Net Reclassification Index of 4.5% compared to a model with only inspiratory CT data.
Quantitatively assessed CT emphysema, air trapping and bronchial wall thickness each contain independent diagnostic information for COPD, and these imaging biomarkers might prove useful in the absence of lung function testing and may influence lung cancer screening strategy. Inspiratory CT biomarkers alone may be sufficient to identify patients with COPD in lung cancer screening setting.
Quantitative CT analysis; Computed Tomography; Pulmonary emphysema; Airway remodeling; Lung cancer screening; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Tobacco smoking
Little is known about the factors associated with CT-quantified emphysema progression in heavy smokers. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of length of smoking cessation and clinical / demographical factors on the rate of emphysema progression and FEV1-decline in male heavy smokers.
3,670 male smokers with mean (SD) 40.8 (17.9) packyears underwent chest CT scans and pulmonary function tests at baseline and after 1 and 3 years follow-up. Smoking status (quitted ≥5, ≥1-<5, <1 years or current smoker) was noted. Rate of progression of emphysema and FEV1-decline after follow-up were assessed by analysis of variance adjusting for age, height, baseline pulmonary function and emphysema severity, packyears, years in study and respiratory symptoms. The quitted ≥5 group was used as reference.
Median (Q1-Q3) emphysema severity,<-950 HU, was 8.8 (5.1 – 14.1) and mean (SD) FEV1 was 3.4 (0.73) L or 98.5 (18.5) % of predicted. The group quitted ‘>5 years’ showed significantly lower rates of progression of emphysema compared to current smokers, 1.07% and 1.12% per year, respectively (p<0.001). Current smokers had a yearly FEV1-decline of 69 ml, while subjects quit smoking >5 years had a yearly decline of 57.5 ml (p<0.001).
Quit smoking >5 years significantly slows the rate of emphysema progression and lung function decline.
Registered at http://www.trialregister.nl with trial number ISRCTN63545820.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); Emphysema; Smoking; Pulmonary function testing
In the US biennial screening mammography is recommended for average-risk women aged 50–74 because the benefits outweigh the harms. For women with increased risk starting screening at age 40 may have a similar harm-benefit ratio.
Determine the threshold relative risk (RR) at which the harm-benefit ratio of screening women aged 40–49 equals that of biennial screening for women aged 50–74.
Comparative modeling study.
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results, Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, medical literature.
A contemporary cohort of women eligible for routine screening.
Mammography screening starting at age 40 vs. 50 with different screening modalities (film, digital) and screening intervals (annual, biennial).
Benefits: life-years gained, breast cancer deaths averted; harms: false-positive mammography examinations; and harm-benefit ratios: false positives/life-year gained, false positives/death averted.
Results of Base-Case Analysis
Screening average-risk women aged 50–74 biennially yields the same false positives/life-year gained as biennial screening with digital mammography starting at age 40 for women with a 2-fold increased risk above average (median threshold RR 1.9; range across models 1.5–4.4). The threshold RRs are higher for annual screening with digital mammography(median 4.3; range 3.3–10) and higher when false positives/death averted is used as outcome measure instead of false positives/life-year gained. The harm-benefit ratio for film mammography is more favorable than for digital, because film has a lower false-positive rate.
Results of Sensitivity Analysis
The threshold RRs changed slightly when a more comprehensive measure of harm was used and were relatively insensitive to lower adherence assumptions.
Risk was assumed to influence onset of disease without influencing screening performance.
Women aged 40–49 with a 2-fold increased risk have similar harm-benefit ratios for biennial screening mammography as average-risk women aged 50–74. Threshold RRs required for favorable harm-benefit ratios vary by screening modality, interval, and outcome measure.
Primary Funding Source
National Cancer Institute.
Despite trials of mammography and widespread use, optimal screening policy is controversial.
Design and Objective
Six models use common data elements to evaluate US screening strategies.
The models use national data on age-specific incidence, competing mortality, mammography characteristics and treatment effects.
Target Population and Time Horizon
A contemporary population cohort followed over their lifetimes.
We use a societal perspective for analysis.
We evaluate 20 screening strategies with varying initiation and cessation ages applied annually or biennially.
Number of mammograms, breast cancer mortality reduction or life years gained [LYG] (vs. no screening), false positives, unnecessary biopsies and over-diagnosis.
Results of Base Case
The 6 models produce consistent rankings of screening strategies. Screening biennially maintains an average of 81% (range across strategies and models 67–99%) of the benefit of annual screening with almost half the number of false positives. Screening biennially from ages 50 to 69 achieves a median 16.5% (range 15%–23%) breast cancer mortality reduction vs. no screening. Initiating biennial screening at age 40 (vs. 50) reduces mortality by an additional 3% (range 1%–6%), consumes more resources and yields more false positives. Biennial screening after age 69 yields some additional mortality reduction in all models but over-diagnosis increases most substantially at older ages.
Sensitivity Analysis Results
Varying test sensitivity or treatment patterns do not change conclusions.
Results do not include morbidity from false positives, knowledge of earlier diagnosis or under-going unnecessary treatment.
Biennial screening achieves most of the benefit of annual screening with less harm. Decisions about the best strategy depend on program and individual objectives and the weight placed on benefits, harms and resource considerations.
To reduce mortality, women with a family history of breast cancer often start mammography screening at a younger age than the general population. Breast density is high in over 50% of women younger than 50 years. With high breast density, breast cancer incidence increases, but sensitivity of mammography decreases. Therefore, mammography might not be the optimal method for breast cancer screening in young women. Adding MRI increases sensitivity, but also the risk of false-positive results. The limitation of all previous MRI screening studies is that they do not contain a comparison group; all participants received both MRI and mammography. Therefore, we cannot empirically assess in which stage tumours would have been detected by either test.
The aim of the Familial MRI Screening Study (FaMRIsc) is to compare the efficacy of MRI screening to mammography for women with a familial risk. Furthermore, we will assess the influence of breast density.
This Dutch multicentre, randomized controlled trial, with balanced randomisation (1:1) has a parallel grouped design. Women with a cumulative lifetime risk for breast cancer due to their family history of ≥20%, aged 30–55 years are eligible. Identified BRCA1/2 mutation carriers or women with 50% risk of carrying a mutation are excluded. Group 1 receives yearly mammography and clinical breast examination (n = 1000), and group 2 yearly MRI and clinical breast examination, and mammography biennially (n = 1000).
Primary endpoints are the number and stage of the detected breast cancers in each arm. Secondary endpoints are the number of false-positive results in both screening arms. Furthermore, sensitivity and positive predictive value of both screening strategies will be assessed. Cost-effectiveness of both strategies will be assessed. Analyses will also be performed with mammographic density as stratification factor.
Personalized breast cancer screening might optimize mortality reduction with less over diagnosis. Breast density may be a key discriminator for selecting the optimal screening strategy for women < 55 years with familial breast cancer risk; mammography or MRI. These issues are addressed in the FaMRIsc study including high risk women due to a familial predisposition.
Netherland Trial Register NTR2789
Breast cancer; Familial risk; Screening; MRI; Breast density; Cost-effectiveness