A new analysis of the 2010 National Lung Screening Trial, which showed that low-dose computed tomography for patients with high risk for lung cancer is a cost-effective diagnostic tool, was presented at a Joint Meeting of the National Institutes of Health Board of Scientific Advisors and National Cancer Advisory Board.

The researchers analyzed data from the NLST and determined quality-adjusted life years scores for three different diagnostic strategies: LDCT, chest x-ray or no scan at all. Compared to chest x-ray or no scan at all, LDCT produced the highest number of QALYs, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $72,916, well below the acceptable range of $100,000 per QALY and a dramatic indication of the cost-effectiveness of the procedure.
The American College of Radiology has stated that it will use these new findings in the ongoing creation of practice guidelines for the use of LDCT for lung cancer (slated for spring 2014), the development of appropriateness criteria and to address staffing and care models needed to support these guidelines.

[source: MITA]