WHO: Douglas E. Wood, MD, from the University of Washington in Seattle, is a world-renowned surgeon in thoracic oncology.

Dr. Wood is a national and international leader in the management of lung and esophageal cancer. He has used that expertise to help secure Medicare coverage of low-dose computed tomography lung cancer screening for at risk-populations in his roles as Chair of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Lung Cancer Screening Panel and Vice-Chair of the NCCN Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Panel. Dr. Wood also has represented The Society of Thoracic Surgeons on the Lung Cancer Guidelines panel of the American College of Chest Physicians. 

WHY: The Dutch-Belgian Randomized Lung Cancer Screening Trial, known as the NELSON trial, published January 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The results showed significant mortality reductions in men and women: 24% and 33%, respectively. This reconfirms that annual lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography in high-risk patients significantly reduces lung cancer deaths. With lung cancer screening, lung cancer can be identified at an early, treatable and curable stage.

The American Cancer Society predicts more than 142,000 lung cancer deaths this year, which means the NELSON trial results support that widespread screening could save 30,000–60,000 lives in the United States each year. 

Dr. Wood is available to speak with the media about the NELSON trial and what it means for patients and the future of lung cancer screening.

Contact: Jennifer Bagley, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, 312-202-5865, jbagley@sts.org