Moffitt Cancer Center Analyzing Lung Cancer Screenings for Better Accuracy

March 13, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. (March 13, 2014)Moffitt Cancer Center is conducting a study to determine whether imaging features from lung cancer screenings can predict lung cancer risk. Matthew B. Schabath, Ph.D., is studying patients who have undergone a computed tomography (CT) screening to determine if they have lung cancer. CT scans are one of the first methods of screening that have been shown to reduce mortality rates and lead to early detection among high-risk people.

Schabath’s study will generate and analyze radiomic data from lung cancer screening patients seen at Moffitt Cancer Center, as well as Moffitt Cancer Center at International Plaza, in order to develop better metrics to define risk. Radiomics is the conversion of medical images, including CT screening, to mineable quantitative data. The overarching goal of his research is to determine if radiomic features derived from CT screening images alone, and in combination with risk factors and genetic data, are predictive of lung cancer risk in a lung screening population. 

“The goal of this study is to reduce the number of false findings on CT scans, improve scan accuracy and ultimately be more precise in identifying individuals at high risk for developing lung cancer,” explained Schabath.  “Because of the large number of affected individuals and the current disappointing outcomes, any improvements in early detection or predictive accuracy could have an impact on increasing patient survival.”

Schabath has already studied 123 patients who underwent a CT scan at Moffitt.  His goal is to study 200 patients each year. To qualify for the study, patients must be between 55 to 80 years old, have a history of cigarette smoking of at least 30 pack-years, or are former smokers who have quit within the past 15 years. A 30 pack-year indicates the individual has smoked the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years.

Thomas Lindsey met the 30 pack-year criteria. He had smoked most of his life. Lindsey decided to get screened at Moffitt because of his family history.

“My father died from lung cancer at 57 years old, just two years older than I am today. I have a 40-year history of smoking, so it was important for me to be screened.  Thankfully my test came back negative. I am glad Moffitt Cancer Center can use my data to help better diagnose other patients in the future,” Lindsey said.

The results from Schabath’s study could improve understanding of the factors that influence lung cancer risk and could lead to better screening and prevention for patients. For information on the study, call (1-888-663-3488).

Moffitt offers a comprehensive lung cancer screening program, which includes assessment of lung CT scans by a team of multispecialty medical experts. To schedule a CT screening, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488). Insurance coverage for screenings varies. For plans that do not cover the screening, the scan will cost $150.

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the No. 1 cancer hospital in Florida and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer since 1999. With more than 4,200 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of nearly $2 billion. For more information, visit, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.