Smoking Cessation Therapy Coupled with Lung Cancer Screening Shows Positive Results

FEBRUARY 18, 2017
Jennifer Barrett, Assistant Editor

Smokers who receive telephone-based smoking cessation counseling shortly after undergoing lung cancer screening may be more likely to quit smoking, a new Georgetown Lombardi-led study finds.
The study, which was the first successful randomized trial of its kind, provided preliminary evidence that may be key to finding an effective method for counseling patients to quit smoking. Ninety-two participants agreed to receive either telephone counseling or standard of care after undergoing lung cancer screening, which is recommended by the US Preventive Task Force for smokers who have accumulated a minimum of 30 pack-years. After receiving their screening results, patients were then randomly assigned to one of the groups.
Participants in the telephone-counseling group received 6, 10-15-minute counseling sessions over the next 3 months following their screening. Researchers conducted nicotine saliva tests to confirm those participants who had quit smoking.
Eight individuals out of 46 in the telephone counseling group were proven to verifiably have quit smoking, versus only 2 in the other group.
In light of these results, the NIH has granted funding to researchers to conduct a larger study of telephone-based cessation counseling with 1300 patients at 5 medical centers nationwide.
“If this preliminary study is replicated, telephone counseling has the potential to improve cessation in a setting that reaches a large number of hard-to-reach, long-term smokers who are at very high risk for multiple tobacco-related diseases,” Kathryn L. Taylor, PhD, behavioral scientists and professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in a news release.
Taylor added that smoking cessation interventions are just as important to offer for smokers who have not considered smoking, and that everyone who undergoes lung cancer screening should be counseled.
Smoking cessation counseling successful when paired with lung cancer screening [news release]. Washington. Georgetown’s website. . Accessed Feb. 17, 2017.