Budesonide versus placebo in high-risk population with screen-detected lung nodules: Rationale, design and methodology

Matteo Lazzeroni, Aliana Guerrieri-Gonzaga, Davide Serrano, Maria Clara Varricchio, Giulia Veronesi, Davide Radice, Irene Feroce, Angela Nardi-Pantoli, Scott M. Lippman, Eva Szabo, Bernardo Bonanni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Screening-CT is able to discover small peripheral lung nodules. The nature of these nodules is uncertain but it is reasonable that some of them, in particular the non-solid ones, could represent precancerous lesions. A previous trial showed a reduction in size of peripheral nodules by inhaled budesonide in subjects with bronchial dysplasia. Objective: The primary objective of the study was the evaluation of the effect of budesonide as a chemopreventive agent for lung lesions. The primary endpoint was the modification of lung lesions at ld-CT scan (according to RECIST criteria) after one year of treatment in a person-specific analysis. Methods: We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial to evaluate whether inhaled budesonide was able to reduce size and number of persistent, undetermined CT-detected lung nodules in high-risk asymptomatic subjects currently undergoing a five-year CT scan screening program at the European Institute of Oncology. Results: Trial enrollment started in April 2006 and ended in July 2007 with the randomization of 202 current or former smokers with stable CT-detected lung nodules set to receive budesonide 800. μg or placebo twice daily for 12. months. Conclusion: Our trial represents the first phase II study of a chemopreventive intervention focusing on the peripheral lung, where the majority of lung cancers arise. The research was nested into a screening project with clear advantages in participant accrual and reduction of costs. This paper describes the rationale and design of the study, thus focusing on the methodology and operational aspects of the clinical trial. (Clinicaltrials.gov number. NCT00321893).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-619
Number of pages8
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • Budesonide
  • Chemoprevention
  • Low-dose CT scan
  • Lung cancer
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)


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