Incidence of Second Primary Lung Cancer After Low-Dose Computed Tomography vs Chest Radiography Screening in Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial.
Cramer JD, Grauer J, Sukari A, Nagasaka M
IMPORTANCE: In head and neck cancer survivors, lung cancer screening may aid in detecting a second primary lung cancer or metastatic head and neck cancer earlier in the course of disease, which may improve treatment outcomes. However, no randomized data exist to assess the value of lung cancer screening in this population.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence of second primary lung cancer in survivors of head and neck cancer survivors with screening low-dose computed tomography (CT) vs chest radiography (CXR).
DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: For this ad hoc secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial, head and neck cancer survivors were identified from the National Lung Screening Trial, which enrolled participants from August 2002 to April 2004. This randomized clinical trial compared screening using low-dose CT chest vs CXR in patients aged 55 to 74 years with at least a 30 pack-year history of cigarette smoking and who were current smokers or had quit within the past 15 years and who were at high risk for lung cancer. The incidences of second primary lung cancer and second primary head and neck cancer were compared with screening using low-dose CT vs CXR. Data were analyzed from December 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.
INTERVENTIONS: Screening low-dose CT of the chest vs CXR.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was the incidence of a second primary lung cancer.
RESULTS: Among 53 452 enrolled participants, we identified 171 survivors of head and neck cancer, of whom 82 were screened with low-dose CT of the chest and 89 with CXR. Participants' mean (SD) age was 61 (5) years, and 132 were men (77.2%). The incidence of lung cancer was higher among head and neck cancer survivors compared with participants without head and neck cancer (2080 per 100 000 person-years [2.1%] vs 609 per 100 000 person-years [0.6%]; adjusted rate ratio, 2.54; 95% CI, 1.63-3.95). In head and neck cancer survivors, the incidence of second primary lung cancer was 2610 cases per 100 000 person-years in the low-dose CT group vs 1594 cases per 100 000 person-years in the CXR group (rate ratio, 1.55; 95% CI, 0.59-3.63). In head and neck cancer survivors, overall survival was 7.07 years with low-dose CT vs 6.66 years with CXR (log-rank P = .48).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The results of this ad hoc secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial suggest that head and neck cancer survivors are at especially high risk for a second primary lung cancer. These findings underscore the importance of low-dose CT screening in head and neck cancer survivors with significant cigarette smoking history who are fit to undergo treatment with curative intent.