Jim L. Mulshine, MD of Rush University talks about computed tomography which can be used not just for lung cancer screening but for tobacco-related diseases as well. CT looks at the anatomical features of the lung where the collision of tobacco smoke going on, resulting to destruction of lung parenchyma, coronary artery occlusion and related cancers. In Europe, North America and even in Asia, CT scan is not just for lung cancer, but it is also for tobacco-related diseases.
According to Dr. Mulshine, tobacco causes 50% of premature mortality in the developed world. So, if all these diseases can be found earlier, with an asymptomatic phase and very modest diagnostic cost, preventive strategies and other important interventions could be developed. Hence, these diseases can be prevented at an early stage before lethal consequences emerged.
Theres been an interesting data about statin therapy, which can be used for COPD. However, neurocardiovascular drugs that target IL-1 beta, while they are effective in reducing LDLs and having benefits on cardiovascular mortality, they also have excessive 40% reduction in lung cancer mortality. Its already affecting inflammatory targets. Hence, if the systematic process is better understood, it could be beneficial to inflammatory-driven disease, lung cancer, heart disease and COPD as well.