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Lung Cancer

Small Cell Lung Cancer from

Grim statistics: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States with more than 160,340 deaths a year, translating to 439 deaths a day, according to estimates of American Cancer Society.2  More than 50 percent of lung cancer is diagnosed in advanced stages and incurable, with five-year survival rate of less than 1 percent. However, early detection of lung cancer leads to longer survival and higher cure rate, with 92 percent five-year survival for Stage 1 disease.1 

Recent advances: Recently, the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) showed that low-dose CT scan (LDCT) screening modality decreases lung cancer mortality by 20 percent.3 This study demonstrated high sensitivity compared to conventional chest x-ray but has high false positive rates. This is the first time that a screening test showed decrease in mortality related to lung cancer.

Our care program: The University of Kansas Cancer Center has implemented a comprehensive lung cancer screening program. It includes smoking cessation counseling, multidisciplinary team with radiologist, pulmonologist, radiation oncologist, surgeon and medical oncology to manage and treat newly detected lung cancer and a nurse navigator to help coordinate the care of patients screened.

The lung cancer group is also developing a study to help increase the accuracy of LDCT.  The study will incorporate the addition of a blood test currently available and also further genetic analysis to enhance the diagnostic precision of LDCT.

Lung Cancer Site Team's mission: "To provide exceptional clinical care with the latest advances in medical therapy and multidisciplinary approach; to advance the care of lung cancer patients through integration of clinical and basic science translational research; to educate the community by increasing awareness and knowledge of early detection and prevention; to accomplish these aspirations with the patient's well-being as the core of our mission by way of empathy and efficiency."

Learn more about lung cancer on the KU Cancer Center site by clicking here.

Clinical Trials

There are many clinical trials at the University of Kansas Cancer Center. Please select the links below to learn more.

Contact our Clinical Trial Nurse Navigator:
Phone: 913-945-7552

Lung Cancer Trials:

Support Groups

Turning Point: Support for serious or chronic physical illness in the KC area
Gilda's Club: Support for all cancers and stages
Cancer Action: For programs and services of persons with cancer, their family, and friend


  1. The International Early Lung Cancer Action Program Investigators. Survival of Patients with Stage I Lung Cancer Detected on CT Screening. N Engl J Med 2006; 355: 1763-1771.
  2. ACS Facts and Figures 2012.
  3. The National Lung Screening Trial Research Team. Reduced lung-cancer mortality with low-dose computed tomographic screening. N Engl J Med 2011; 365-409.

Last modified: Aug 12, 2020