Background: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and a major public health challenge across the entire world. Computed tomography (CT) imaging of the lung is a rapidly improving medical imaging technique. Spiral CT has been reported to not only improve the early detection of lung cancer in screening high-risk tobacco-exposed populations but also to assist in the clinical assessment of new agents for therapy in lung cancer.
Methods: The Prevent Cancer Foundation has sponsored a series of workshops to accelerate progress in using quantitative imaging to advance lung cancer research progress, of which this report summarizes the Ninth Workshop. The defining strategy of this forum to support innovation in quantitative research for early lung cancer management was to enable software validations by assembling collections of high-quality images for which long-term clinical follow-up is known. An additional approach was to define a process for high-quality and economical national implementation of lung cancer screening. Representatives from the Quantitative Imaging Biomarker Alliance, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, the Lung Cancer Alliance, and other organizations outlined their efforts in this regard. A major opportunity exists to advance the dialogue on the use of quantitative imaging tools to cross-fertilize and accelerate image-processing research across lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Conclusion: The use of high-resolution CT imaging provides a window into a much earlier stage of COPD as well as coronary artery disease, both being tobacco-induced diseases. Progress in this area was reviewed and opportunities for enhanced collaborative progress defined. Key sessions reviewed emerging developments with imaging technology and the infrastructure to support the storage and distribution of these high-content modalities. Cooperation among diverse collaborators is essential to enable the rapid organic evolution of this field, so that improved outcomes with lung cancer, artery disease, and COPD can be obtained.