In the 1970s, four trials failed to demonstrate any mortality reduction using a combination of chest X-ray (CXR) and/or sputum cytology. The recent early lung cancer action project (ELCAP) demonstrated that modern screening is capable of detecting Stage I lung cancers. Bronchial epithelial changes leading up to cancers are now being understood to include histologic changes and genetic alterations. Emerging molecular markers detected in sputum and serum show promise in the future of lung cancer screening.
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