What is DECAMP?

DECAMP stands for Detection of Early Lung Cancer Among Military Personnel Consortium. This research program brings together the knowledge and skills of leading cancer researchers from medical institutions across the United States. DECAMP's main goal is to discover how different types of biomarkers can help improve lung cancer screening for people who are at high risk for this disease.
  Watch the DECAMP Video 

The video features the study's principal investigator Avrum Spira, MD, MSc (pictured at the left) talking about the important role the DECAMP study plays in learning ways to detect who may be at greatest risk for developing lung cancer.

DECAMP Video Link

Why Is the DECAMP Research Important?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in the United States and the world, with cigarette smoking as its major cause. The number of lung cancer-related deaths has remained essentially unchanged over the last 3 decades, in part because of our inability to detect lung cancer at its earliest and potentially curable stage. Additionally, military personnel and veterans, compared with the general population, have a higher rate of lung cancer, caused by smoking and exposure to other substances known to cause cancer, such as radon, asbestos, fuel exhaust, and other battlefield emissions.

From the results of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) published in 2010, we now know that screening people at high risk for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (CT) can reduce lung cancer-related deaths by 20%. The trial results also showed us that lung cancer screening can generate suspicious findings that turn out not to be cancer in the vast majority of cases. The most common suspicious finding is an indeterminate lung nodule. The follow-up tests used to determine whether a nodule is cancerous can result in medical complications, patient anxiety, and increased medical costs.

Discovering ways to identify which questionable nodules are truly cancerous and which groups of people would most benefit from lung cancer screening could greatly improve lung cancer screening programs.

What Exactly Will the DECAMP Researchers Study?

The DECAMP researchers are working to discover if molecular biomarkers obtained through minimally invasive tests and noninvasive tests can help predict whether an indeterminate lung nodule is eventually found to be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Another goal of DECAMP researchers is to better understand, from the large population of people who are at high risk for lung cancer, those who would most benefit from lung cancer screening.