Panagis Galiatsatos, MD: Closing the Gap in Lung Cancer Screening

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Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos explains the new lung cancer screening aims to address the disparities of disease onset and progression across different racial populations.

In an interview with HCPLive, Panagis Galiatsatos, MD, MSH, an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, spoke about disparities in lung cancer screening, particularly among different racial groups.

At the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2023 International Conference in Washington, DC, Galiatsatos addressed the new practices for lung cancer screening and shared recommendations for encouraging different patient populations to participate.

The previous guidelines for screening led to larger disparities between white and black populations, necessitating a shift in guidelines to initiate screenings at a younger age for the black population, particularly adult males who smoke and tend to develop cancers earlier.

“Overall, it still shows how new this cancer screening is, and that we're still exploring and trying to figure out who is the most appropriate phenotype to start screening them for,” he explained, “and that can only come if the majority of the diverse populations, especially impacted by smoking, begin to understand that lung cancer screening is out there.”

With the evolving nature of lung cancer screening, ongoing exploration and the consideration of various factors to determine the most appropriate screening approach, is required. Galiatsatos said the current objective is to disseminate the message effectively and engage with these patient populations.

“The ultimate goal was ‘can we achieve cancer mortality reduction on par that we've seen with other cancers where we can screen,’ right?” he explained. “We've seen this with prostate to colorectal to breast–they've made reductions in certain parts of the cancers because of screening catching things early. So ideally, that's what we'd like to see with lung cancer.”