Lung cancer patients face median five-year survival rates of just 17% (compared to 89% for breast cancer and 98% for prostate cancer).
Why this wide difference? The company Prolung explains that survival rates for lung cancer are below rates for other types of cancer due to a lack of early and effective detection and challenging biopsy.
So a significant amount of time is required to assess risk under current guidelines.
If the innovation reduces the time needed to assess the risk of malignancy, lung cancer mortality could approach that of other cancers, according to Prolung.
In those cases where lung cancer was detected at its earliest stage, the five-year survival improves to 80% or about a five-fold improvement.
Prolung is a medical technology company that develops advanced multi-cancer detection and early detection technology for multipolar cancers that can extend the therapeutic window, improve survivability and reduce the cost of medical care. It has active projects in lung, breast and gastro-intestinal cancer.
The US CDC estimates that there are 94 million Americans at risk of lung cancer (which includes current and former smokers).
In the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial of 53,454 patients, approximately 24% of CT scans performed were positive and revealed a pulmonary nodule suspicious for lung cancer that required follow-up.
On December 31, 2013, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended CT screening, and on February 5, 2016, Medicare began paying for lung cancer screening.
Based on these estimates, if the approximately 94 million Americans at risk for lung cancer received a low-dose CT scan, approximately 24% (or 23 million) of Americans may reveal lung nodules that require follow-up.
Prolung believes that these patients would be eligible to receive the IONIQ ProLung test.
About one in four cancer deaths in the United States is from lung cancer.
Also, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death worldwide and is estimated to be responsible for nearly one in five cancer-related deaths.
The overall ratio of mortality to incidence is 87%. Each year there are more than 1.8 million new cases of lung cancer worldwide, as well as nearly 1.6 million deaths. The lifetime chance of developing lung cancer is 1:17 in women and 1:14 in men.