For the second year running, the American Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) has bestowed the International Best Abstract Award to a research performed at Humanitas and introduced by Doctor Egesta Lopçi, specialist in Nuclear Medicine. This award is given to the best works submitted to the Annual Congress of the Association. This year it took place on 10-14 June, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, in the US.

Doctor Lopçi received the prize during the award ceremony that took place on Sunday 11 June. His study was about the cost-effectiveness ratio in the second-tier diagnostics applied to the clinical trial DANTE. This is a well-known randomized study about the screening of lung cancer with a low-dosage computerized tomography (LDCT).

The goal of the project

“The goal of the project we worked on for almost two years was analyzing the accuracy and economic efficiency of a second-tier diagnostic protocol (PET-CTB protocol) against the standard one (LDCT protocol), in patients with indeterminate pulmonary nodules. We performed a retrospective review for all surgical cases included in the DANTE trial for the lung cancer screening, and monitored in our Institute”, Doctor Lopçi explained.

“The two protocols have shown to be equally efficient in terms of total ambulatorial costs, while PET-CTB protocol had a significant economic advantage against the hospitalization costs for patients who have to undergo surgery. This demonstrates that the technological implementation of relatively costlier diagnostic procedures may lead to a huge advantage in the overall balance of health economy, as well as to benefits for the patient (who won’t undergo useless or harmful surgical operations).

Then, we have to thank the people who helped with the study. Doctor Maurizio Infante, Director of the UOC of Thoracic Surgery of the AOUI of Verona (after being many years in our structure), professor Marco Alloisio, Supervisor of thoracic surgery at Humanitas, Manuela Morenghi, biostatistician at Humanitas Cancer Center, and Dario Tanzi, management control expert at Humanitas”, the doctor says.