The Department would like to congratulate Epidemiology Research Division Director and Associate Professor Louise Henderson, PhD, and multi-institution collaborators for receiving North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NCTraCS) Institute Carolinas Collaborative (CC) Grant funding ($50K) in October 2018 for their proposed pilot study – “Detection of Coronary Artery Calcification in the Lung Cancer Screening Population: Clinical Implications for Cardiovascular Risk Stratification and Statin Pharmacotherapy.”

The CC is a pilot program designed to facilitate novel clinical and translational research and quality improvement activities accelerating discovery into testing in clinical or population settings. It provides program participants with a database synchronizing Electronic Health Records from the Carolinas’ four Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) institutions – UNC, Wake Forest University, Duke University and MUSC. Those funded must represent the program’s mission through carrying out pilot studies that: 1) incorporate data from at least two of these four CTSAs; 2) utilize CC data to generate new knowledge and improve the quality of care delivered to patients in the Carolinas; and 3) demonstrate that CC Electronic Health Records data is being applied to clinical research within and across integrated delivery systems.

Among the four 2018 CC Grant awardees, Henderson and co-collaborators Drs. Tina Tailor (Duke University Assistant Professor of Radiology), Caroline Chiles (Wake Forest University Professor of Radiology), and M. Patricia Rivera (UNC Professor of Medicine) will conduct a one-year pilot study to facilitate future translational research focused on lung cancer screening.

In 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended annual lung cancer screening in patients at high risk for developing lung cancer.  In addition to lung malignancy, this high risk population is also at increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The project will evaluate how coronary artery calcification found at low dose CT for lung cancer screening influences ASCVD risk stratification and statin delivery in patients undergoing lung cancer screening. This will be accomplished with Electronic Health Record data from the CC in conjunction with abstracted radiology text reports. By collaborating across three NC institutions, the study findings will be more generalizable and will establish the feasibility of conducting studies in lung cancer screening.

Henderson noted: “This multi-institution pilot study will help us to understand how coronary artery calcification detected on lung cancer screening is being managed. We hope to use these results to inform reporting and clinical practice guidelines around ASCVD in the lung cancer screened population.”