The mayo lung project: Preliminary report of “early cancer detection” phase



The Mayo Lung Project has been established to assess the effectiveness of close surveillance in reducing the death rate from bronchogenic carcinoma. Candidates for study are high-risk patients (men, aged 45 or older, smoking at least one pack of cigarettes daily) with life expectancy of at least 5 years. A lung-health questionnaire, chest roentgenogram, and 3-day pooled specimen of sputum provide the basic information. Candidates with positive test results receive appropriate treatment. Those whose initial data are negative are randomized into either a close-surveillance (participant) group or a control group. Participants are restudied every 4 months. Controls receive whatever medical care they ordinarily would, but no regular restudy except annual follow-up by letter. This routine will extend over 5 years or more, and tracing 5 to 10 years further. Lung-cancer death rates in the two groups will be compared. Preliminarily, it appears such programs can be incorporated into private group practices.