Chapter 7: Description of MISCAN-Lung, the Erasmus MC Lung Cancer Microsimulation Model for Evaluating Cancer Control Interventions


H. J. de Koning, Erasmus MC, Department of Public Health, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands;


The MISCAN-lung model was designed to simulate population trends in lung cancer (LC) for comprehensive surveillance of the disease, to relate past exposure to risk factors to (observed) LC incidence and mortality, and to estimate the impact of cancer-control interventions. MISCAN-lung employs the technique of stochastic microsimulation of life histories affected by risk factors. It includes the two-stage clonal expansion model for carcinogenesis and a detailed LC progression model; the latter is specifically intended for the evaluation of screenings. This article elucidates further the principles of MISCAN-lung and describes its application to a comparative study within the CISNET Lung Working Group on the impact of tobacco control on U.S. LC mortality. MISCAN-lung yields an estimate of the number of LC deaths avoided during 1975–2000. The potential number of avoidable LC deaths, had everybody quit smoking in 1965, is 2.2 million; 750,000 deaths (30%) were avoided in the United States due to actual tobacco control interventions. The model fits in the actual tobacco-control scenario, providing credibility to the estimates of other scenarios, although considering survey-reported smoking trends alone has limitations.