RATIONALE - Screening for lung cancer using low-dose computed tomography (CT) reduces lung cancer mortality. However, in addition to a high rate of benign nodules, lung cancer screening detects a large number of indolent cancers that generally belong to the adenocarcinoma spectrum. Individualized management of screen-detected adenocarcinomas would be facilitated by noninvasive risk stratification.
OBJECTIVES - To validate that Computer-Aided Nodule Assessment and Risk Yield (CANARY), a novel image analysis software, successfully risk stratifies screen-detected lung adenocarcinomas based on clinical disease outcomes.
METHODS - We identified retrospective 294 eligible patients diagnosed with lung adenocarcinoma spectrum lesions in the low-dose CT arm of the National Lung Screening Trial. The last low-dose CT scan before the diagnosis of lung adenocarcinoma was analyzed using CANARY blinded to clinical data. Based on their parametric CANARY signatures, all the lung adenocarcinoma nodules were risk stratified into three groups. CANARY risk groups were compared using survival analysis for progression-free survival.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS - A total of 294 patients were included in the analysis. Kaplan-Meier analysis of all the 294 adenocarcinoma nodules stratified into the Good, Intermediate, and Poor CANARY risk groups yielded distinct progression-free survival curves (P < 0.0001). This observation was confirmed in the unadjusted and adjusted (age, sex, race, and smoking status) progression-free survival analysis of all stage I cases.
CONCLUSIONS - CANARY allows the noninvasive risk stratification of lung adenocarcinomas into three groups with distinct post-treatment progression-free survival. Our results suggest that CANARY could ultimately facilitate individualized management of incidentally or screen-detected lung adenocarcinomas.