This perspective discusses the report by Pinsky and colleagues, which addresses whether noncalcified pulmonary nodules identified on CT screening carry short- and long-term risk for lung cancer. We are facing challenges related to distinguishing a large majority of benign nodules from malignant ones and among those a majority of aggressive from indolent cancers. Key questions in determining individual probabilities of disease, given their history, findings on CT, and upcoming biomarkers of risk, remain most challenging. Reducing the false positives associated with current low-dose computed tomography practices and identification of individuals who need therapy and at what time during tumor surveillance could reduce costs and morbidities associated with unnecessary interventions.
©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.