Lung CancerLung cancer takes many lives. We can do more to prevent and detect the disease at a early stage. Explore how a lung cancer screening program can reduce mortality.


A profound understanding of the facetted characteristics and behavior of a tumor demands deep and integrated knowledge among clinical experts collaborating in interdisciplinary teams – a joint effort to empower personalized cancer care.

By strategically combining advanced imaging, IT, and laboratory applications, lung cancer management can be improved through:

  • Early detection through screening programs to reduce lung cancer related mortality
  • Advanced lung cancer imaging to better visualize and characterize a tumor
  • Innovative treatment planning and management for improved outcomes and reduction of side effects
  • Individualized patient treatment and systematic assessment of therapy response to ensure treatment success

Whatever the clinical question, our innovative portfolio contains everything you need to offer patient care at the highest-possible level – from angiography, X-ray systems, MRI, CT, PET/CT, MR/PET, SPECT/CT, and clinical chemistry testing, through to interventional imaging, radiation oncology support, and systems designed for process optimization and efficient lung cancer workflows.

Explore on the following tabs how our advanced technologies and solutions help you look closer and see further – along the entire continuum of care.

Lung Cancer Screening Program

Lung cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage when the cancer is already advanced. The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the more likely a successful outcome. Studies show that lung cancer screening programs for those at high risk can save lives. Why not start now?

A person’s risk of developing lung cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, lifestyle and exposure to risk factors. Since this form of cancer is so dangerous with a high level of mortality, lung cancer specialists in many countries are now calling for national lung screening programs for high-risk individuals.

Benefits from CT screening

The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) from the US and the NELSON study from Belgium and the Netherlands are the largest studies conducted on the benefits of low dose CT in lung screening. Over 50,000 people participated in the NLST from the United States, and they were smokers who had smoked 20 cigarettes daily and more for thirty years. The study showed an improvement in survival for the group receiving low-dose CT screening, compared with the control group receiving x-rays.

The NELSON study has followed over 15,000 participants for ten years and shows good effect of lung screening. Low-dose CT examinations of smokers in the high-risk age group was also the chosen screening method in the NELSON study. The final conclusions from the study that now have been published, documents that mortality was reduced by 24 per cent in men and 33 per cent in women, compared to patients who did not undergo screening.

Lung cancer takes most lives

In the Nordic countries many clinical specialists and scientists have commented in the media about lung screening programs. Radiologist Haseem Ashraf holds a doctorate in lung cancer screening and is a member of the Screening Committee for the Norwegian and Danish Lung Cancer Groups. He believes that the findings from the studies indicate that lung screening of heavy smokers in Norway should be put in place.

Haseem Ashraf Associate professor, PhD University Of  Oslo, Senior Consultant, Department of Thoracic Radiology Akershus University Hospital, Norway

”Lung cancer is the cancer disease that takes the most lives both in Norway and internationally. When we have a method of significantly reducing mortality, why not use it? Now we have two large studies from the last ten years that show that we can save lives by introducing a screening program. Because one can detect the cancer before it spreads, it is possible to offer curative treatment,” says thoracic radiologist and associate professor Haseem Ashraf at the University of Oslo.

Early detection is crucial

The screening committee in the Norwegian lung cancer group has estimated that seven to eight percent of the Norwegian population in the age group between 55-75 years will meet the criteria for lung screening. Since not everyone will accept, they believe about 50,000 may be relevant estimate for screening annually.

”A lung cancer screening program should be as self-evident as other screening, if it is well established in scientific studies. When two large studies have shown positive results on CT low-dose screening, there is every reason to consider whether Norway should initiate targeted screening for this disease,” says the Head of the Norwegian Radiographer Federation, Bent Ronny Mikalsen to Hold Pusten Magazine.

He believes that available imaging and pathology capacity will be a key issue when the authorities make the decision regarding the introduction of a screening program for lung cancer.

Right selection

Ph.D. Zaaigham Saghir is a Clinical Associate Professor and specialist in lung medicine at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He has the following comment on lung screening to the Danish Diagnostic Journal:

”There is no doubt that screening works, but we may be better at selecting those to be screened. We should find those at the highest risk and avoid overdiagnosis. We are already seeing good results, so it is just to get started with the high-risk patients and be better at differentiating them all the time,” says Zaigham Saghir.

He also comments on studies conducted in Denmark that show the same results as NELSON and NLST.

Specialist in lung medicine, Ph.D. and Clinical Associate Professor Zaigham Saghir at Medical dep., Lung Section at Herlev Gentofte Hospital and University of Copenhagen, Denmark

”We saw that screening during a five-year period did not produce significant results. But when we followed up with five more years, we could see effects with the highest risk patients. It will be exciting to analyse the results when we also follow-up beyond a 10-year period, says Saghir.

The Danish Lung Cancer Group (DLCG) believes that lung screening should be carefully organized to produce results.

”Screening, which is not systematized and organized, has a high risk of ending up in waste of resources. DLCG is therefore working to define how screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT can best be implemented in Denmark,” DLCG writes in a recent article in the Danish Journal of Medicine.

Commitment in Sweden

In Sweden the scientific lung cancer community have committed to accelerate a national lung screening program for high-risk patients. Every day 10 people die of lung cancer in Sweden.

In a chronicle in the Swedish Dagens Medicin Magazine, Roger Henriksson, Hirsh Koyi, Eva Brandén and Tommy Björk write:

“We propose that the National Board of Health, based on the new findings and the new technology that is available, can prepare the conditions for introducing organized lung cancer screening throughout Sweden, combined with effective preventive measures to achieve the goal of total smoking cessation. The cost of conducting screening and subsequent necessary treatment is lower than the cost of treating a patient who is affected by advanced, severe lung cancer, which is very rarely treatable. Especially when the screening is combined with smoking cessation, the health-economic benefit for society is big.”

With the CT platform SOMATOM go. Siemens Healthineers has the technology to contribute to make lung cancer screening with low-dose CT efficient and comfortable.

“Our new CT platform is an innovative and easy way to use a CT. The examination is done in a few seconds, and the radiation doses are down against the radiation doses known from ordinary x-ray. With the CT examination you get three-dimensional images and thus a far better overview than with ordinary X-ray. Suspected pathological changes can be detected very early,” says product specialist for CT Kjell Fladstad in Siemens Healthineers Norway.

Mobile CT scanning in UK

Siemens Healthineers in the UK has completed a lung screening project for high-risk patients with a mobile CT scanner in Manchester, and it may be possible to use this model in the Nordic countries. The model has been made possible through collaboration with several organizations.

“With the right partners and funding in place, our goal is to contribute to the implementation of lung screening programs in the Nordic countries. Based on recent research and the feedback from the scientific and clinical communities in our countries, I believe it is high time to introduce lung cancer screening of high-risk groups,” says Lars Karlsson, Head of Diagnostic Imaging in the Nordic and Baltic countries in Siemens Healthineers.

Lars Karlsson, Head of Diagnostic Imaging in the Nordic and Baltic countrines in Siemens Healthineers.

Early detection & diagnosis

Treating late-stage lung cancer is extremely challenging. However, lung cancer treatment can be significantly more effective if the disease is detected earlier in stage I or II, before the onset of symptoms when the disease is still localized. This emphasizes the benefit to establish screening programs for earlier detection. Precise lung cancer staging of lymph node involvement and distant metastases determines the prognosis and is the foundation of adequate therapy selection.

Lung cancer screening -  Image reading and reporting with syngo.via
  • 3D reading and advanced visualization
  • designed for both routine and challenging cases
  • dedicated modality-specific applications
  • structured reporting (Lung-RADS™)
  • server-client concept

Lung cancer screening - Computed Tomography
Interventional CT procedure to biopsy a lung cancer lesion

What is the impact of CT screening on the lung-cancer mortality rate?
The authors of NELSON Study point out that "Lung-cancer mortality was significantly lower among those who underwent volume CT screening"2

  • Latest recommendation of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine3 qualifies the Siemens Healthineers CT scanners4 for low-dose Lung Cancer Screening (LCS).
  • Unique radiation dose-saving technologies also available for LCS protocols.
  • Tin filter technology optimizes X-ray spectral shaping for improved dose efficiency and early detection.
  • Lung CAD, a second reader tool, provides highly sensitive and specific detection of lung nodules. It is available with syngo.via as inline tool and with CT View&GO5.
  • Adaptive 3D Intervention Suite is designed to perform CT-guided interventions for further evaluation of suspicious findings and to fulfill country specific guidelines for lung nodules with a diameter ≥ 8 mm or a volume ≥ 300 mm6

Learn more about our CT portfolio

X-ray products  - Lung cancer screening
Effect of advanced image post-processing on Siemens Healthineers radiography images
  • all relevant Siemens Healthineers' X-ray systems can be configured with dedicated hard- and software for lung imaging
  • ClearRead Bone Suppression™ to suppress bone structures for a clearer, unobstructed view of soft tissue
  • ClearRead +Detect™ is an advanced computer-aided detection (CAD) technology that identifies areas on a chest X-ray that may be early-stage lung cancer

Positron Emission Tomography – Computed Tomography (PET/CT)  - Lung cancer screening
  • finest volumetric resolution7
  • fast, amplitude-based gating technology (HD•Chest) virtually freezes respiratory motion and helps improve lesion detectability in the thoracic and abdominal areas
  • FlowMotion™ continuous bed motion for routine imaging of motion-sensitive organs with the highest possible resolution

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Molecular MR (MR/PET)  - Lung cancer screening
Biograph mMR dataset of a lung cancer patient visualized in syngo.mMR General reader
  • robust MR techniques for lung imaging
  • unmatched soft-tissue contrast for infiltration assessment, surgery planning, and whole-body staging
  • multi-parametric MRI can provide information on cellular density, perfusion, and vascularity
  • DotGO workflow engines8, for standardized protocols and more predictable scan slots
  • Biograph mMR™ combines MRI’s anatomical and functional information with the high sensitivity of PET in one single simultaneous, integrated MRI and PET system


Today, the majority of lung cancer cases is detected when the disease is already in an advanced stage – and so treatment of lung cancer primarily consists of either radio(chemo)therapy potentially followed by surgery or systemic chemotherapy.
But therapy planning for lung cancer patients and the appropriate therapy selection also depends on the patient’s condition, histological and molecular characteristics of the tumor, and staging information.

The success of therapeutic approaches is based on meaningful image information that helps to guide targeted therapy. For most tumors that are detected early and are still localized, the treatment of choice in lung cancer is primary surgery.

Interventional imaging with angiography and CT - Primary surgery in lung cancer
  • minimally invasive interventions are expected to save healthy tissue, to minimize the risk of complications, and reduce the duration of the intervention as well as the hospitalization
  • site-specific integration of superior imaging devices into the operating room (OR)

Artis zeego, Siemens Healthineers' unique multi-axis robotic angiography system

  • delivers unrivaled positioning flexibility
  • hygiene class A room category in operation
  • syngo DynaCT Large Volume to acquire volumes of almost twice the diameter or height of conventional C-arm CTs for visualization of lung and all surrounding thoracic structures
  • syngo Needle Guidance for 3D path planning and precise navigation of devices from skin entry point to the target

MIYABI Angio-CT for the most challenging requirements in lung imaging

  • customized solution
  • combination of an Artis angiography system and a state-of-the-art CT
  • sliding gantry configuration in one- or two-room solutions

Two ablation needles positioned in target area.
Two ablation needles positioned in target area.
Courtesy of University Hospital QiLu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, China

Minimally invasive image guidance enables cost-effective procedures2 for the diagnosis and treatment of suspicious lesions.
The SOMATOM Force and Drive and the SOMATOM Edge Plus, Definition Edge and Confidence feature the Adaptive 3D Intervention Suite providing:

  • A wired or wireless i-control directly at the tableside that allows you to interact with the software and control all relevant scan parameters during CT-guided procedures designed for increased process efficiency.
  • Full navigation in the three-dimensional space of the patient together with real-time fluoroscopic image guidance that shall help with fast and accurate instrument positioning in the most complex anatomies.
  • Auto Needle Detection that detects the needle tip automatically to provide an accurate overview of the current needle and target position to explore needle paths you did not even think of before.

Learn more about CT-guided interventions

Radiation oncology - Primary surgery in lung cancer
Virtual simulation in lung radiotherapy with the SOMATOM Definition AS Open – RT Pro edition
  • Siemens Healthineers' large-bore CT scanners for comprehensive motion management in RT planning
  • Siemens Healthineers' SPECT and SPECT/CT systems for tissue perfusion imaging helps to avoid radiation to well-perfused lung tissue
  • syngo.via RT Image Suite for 4D multimodality image analysis allowing RT planning according to patients’ specific breathing patterns
  • Partnership with Varian Medical Systems 

Siemens Healthineers' large-bore PET/CT systems

  • industry’s finest volumetric resolution1 and high lesion contrast
  • flexible respiratory motion management

Monitoring & follow-up

Therapy monitoring and follow-up of lung cancer are key to individualized patient treatment. Monitoring the tumor’s response allows a timely adaptation to the selected therapy. This is important when several therapeutic options are available, as is the case with lung cancer.

After completion of the therapy, a systematic follow-up for the early detection of lung cancer relapse should always be part of the patient’s workup and is described in the corresponding guidelines.

Computed Tomography & syngo.via - Lung cancer therapy monitoring
CT follow-up examination consisting of baseline and two follow-up scans: evaluation and reporting are supported by syngo.via-based oncology applications
  • through functional examinations like tissue perfusion or iodine quantification SOMATOM CT systems enable an earlier assessment of tumor’s response in the lung or disease progression
  • syngo.via-based reading applications permit a standardized and efficient image analysis
  • longitudinal studies of the same patient are automatically registered, the trending of lesion size change is automatically visualized
  • structured reporting allows efficient communication across departments and disciplines

Positron Emission Tomography - Lung cancer therapy monitoring
SUV trending in a multi-timepoint PET/CT examination for response monitoring: the effects of the therapy are graphically visualized automatically
  • early predictor of response
  • advanced system calibration of Biograph PET/CT systems helps ensure consistent quantitative accuracy across multiple time points
  • Small, 4 mm LSO crystals provide high sensitivity in detecting local and distant recurrences of lung carcinoma
  • syngo.via with EQ•PET helps reduce technology-induced variations and inter-reader variability by normalizing PET SUV values between different scanners and reconstruction methods
  • Continuous bed motion, made possible by FlowMotion™ technology supports precise disease characterization in therapy monitoring of lung cancer


  • comprehensive menu of oncology tests, e.g. general and specific tests to assess side-effects in the patient or tumor markers such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)