Center News

Lung-cancer risk study for smokers uses data from CARET in PHS

April 3, 2003

Smokers and ex-smokers now have a tool to predict their risk of lung cancer, using a formula developed by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and based on previous research by scientists in Fred Hutchinson's Public Health Sciences Division.

The researchers based their calculations on data collected by Fred Hutchinson for the Carotene and Retinol Efficacy (CARET) study, a large, randomized trial of lung-cancer prevention. CARET tracked lung-cancer development in 18,000 smokers and former smokers.

The tool, of use to those over 50 who smoked at least half a pack of cigarettes a day for at least 25 years, may help individuals decide whether to undergo a test known as a spiral computerized tomography (CT) scan, a controversial test for lung cancer.

Drs. Mark Thornquist and Matt Barnett of PHS were co-authors on the paper, which appears in the March 19 edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

To see the formula, visit

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.