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Lung cancer early detection

Development and implementation of a pilot program for lung cancer screening in Belarus (BELUNGS)

Study sites: Belarus - N.N. Alexandrov National Cancer Centre of Belarus
Principal investigator (PI) from IARC: A. Carvalho
PIs from collaborating institutions:Dr Vjacheslav Kurchin
Start date: 2020
Closure date:Ongoing
Objectives: The purpose of this research is to evaluate the development and implementation of a pilot program for a low-dose CT lung cancer screening in Belarus. Specific objectives are:
  • Identify the percentage of invited individuals are selected for LDCT screening accordingly to the proposed risk-based approach
  • Document the radiological findings of the LDCT, the number of participants with nodules, the characteristic of the nodules and accuracy of the radiological findings with the pathology report for participants undergoing biopsy. Also, the concordance of radiological findings among the radiologists involved in the project
  • Document and monitor the harms of the LDCT screening
  • Evaluate the clinical stage distribution of lung cancer diagnosed in the project, and the proportion of cases eligible for radical surgical procedure
Methodology:Age-appropriate men will be identified from a population list serviced by medical institutions participating in the project. Identified participants with respond to a pre-selection questionnaire sent by mail or answered during a regular visit to the medical institution. Individuals will be selected for LDCT lung cancer screening based on the information provided to the pre-selection questionnaire, after considering a risk-based approach. Also, the other inclusion and exclusion criteria should be considered before proposing individuals to participate in the study. Invited individuals will get clarifications regarding the purpose of the study and the study’s procedures by trained recruiters. Recruiters will also explain the inform consent form and answer to any concerns/doubts of the individual regarding their participation in the study. Participant inclusion at the study will only happen after all doubts and concerns have been addressed, and the inform consent form has been signed. The project will be implemented in 3 districts in Republic of Belarus: Minsk, Soligorsk and Grodno.
A total of 3,000 participants is planned to be enrolled in the project, 1,000 from each district. Eligible participants will be monitored and followed in the project for 5 years, they shall undergo low-dose computed tomography of chest organs annually for the first 3 years. Blood samples will be collected, processed and storage in a biorepository for a possible future research on biomarkers.
All scans will be read by 2 independent radiologists. The British Thoracic Society guidelines for the investigation and management of pulmonary nodules will be adopted in this project. Data from the epidemiological questionnaire, the LDCT findings, clinical management of the findings and medical records for the cancer detected cases will be registered, collected and analysed.
Funding: Federal Government of the Republic of Belarus

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