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Working in conjunction with our colleagues in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Thoracic Surgery, and Smoking Cessation, we created the first university-based multidisciplinary Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening Program using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) technology in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Our Lung Screening Program at VCU Health was the first facility in the Commonwealth of Virginia to be designated by the American College of Radiology (ACR) as a Lung Cancer Screening Center. The Center continues to serve as a model for other academic screening programs across the country. As an ACR designated Lung Cancer Screening facility, the VCU Department of Radiology is dedicated to providing high quality screening care and patient safety.
As part of an academic and research-backed medical institution our lung cancer screening specialists, under the direction of Mark S. Parker, M.D., FACR, serve as educators and leading authors of medical publications and textbooks.
The National Cancer Institute sponsored a National Lung Screening Trial in 2011, which was conducted through the American College of Radiology Imaging Network. The trial showed that high risk individuals who received baseline and subsequent annual low-dose computed tomography scans had a 20% lower risk of death from lung cancer than individuals who received annual chest radiography alone, and a 7% reduction in all-cause mortality.
The 2018 NELSON trial has shown up to a 61% reduction in mortality in high-risk women. The trial also showed a 39% mortality reduction in high-risk men undergoing screening with low-dose computed tomography. There are currently 7.6 million current and former heavy smokers in the United States eligible for a lung cancer screening.
Our Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening Program is endorsed by Lung Cancer Alliance as a screening center of excellence. In 2016, our program created the first Patient-centric Model for shared decision making, low-dose computed tomography screening, consultation and smoking cessation in Virginia. This particular screening program also serves as a critical point of entry for new as well as existing VCU patients to be evaluated by one or more clinical disciplines.
The Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening Program has detected unsuspected coronary disease resulting in cardiac referrals and surgeries; unsuspected lung diseases besides lung cancer resulting in need for referral and treatment by pulmonary medicine, thyroid lesions requiring treatment by an endocrinologist, and renal lesions in need of treatment by an urologist. Since the founding of the program, over 1,000 baseline screens and follow-up studies have been performed on these high-risks patients. To date, we have detected 23 otherwise unsuspected lung cancers.
Cardiothoracic Imaging Faculty
Mark S. Parker, M.D., FACR
Mark S. Parker, M.D., FACR
Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Internal Medicine
Co-Section Chief, Cardiothoracic Imaging
Director, Thoracic Imaging Fellowship
Director, Lung Cancer Screening Program
Phone: (804) 828-5064
Fax: (804) 628-1132
West Hospital, West Wing
Mark S. Parker, M.D., FACR received his medical school and diagnostic radiology training at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia and his fellowship training in thoracic disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He has been practicing in thoracic imaging for 25 years and joined the faculty of the VCU Department of Radiology in 2001.
Dr. Parker currently holds the academic rank of Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Internal Medicine at the VCU School of Medicine and has multiple appointments at VCU Health including, Director of Thoracic Imaging, Director of the Thoracic Imaging Fellowship Program, and Director of the Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening Program. He has received numerous research and faculty awards, and he is continually recognized by peers and patients for his exceptional care in America’s Top Radiologists by the Consumers’ Research Council of America, Best Doctors' in America, Virginia’s Living Magazine, and Richmond’s Top Docs.
Dr. Parker was instrumental in developing and launching the multi-disciplinary lung cancer screening program at VCU Health. The program, which was recognized as a center of excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance, was Virginia’s first American College of Radiology designated lung cancer screening center. The program continues to serve as a model for other lung cancer screening programs located throughout the country.
Dr. Parker is a frequent lecturer on key topics, including lung cancer and other neoplasms affecting the lungs, pleura, and mediastinum. Recently, he lectured on the merits of early detection lung cancer screening before the World Cancer Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Rome, Italy. He was also a keynote speaker at the 2019 International Cancer Conference in London, England. Dr. Parker has published extensively in the areas of thoracic imaging and lung cancer screening, and is an invited reviewer for over six radiology journals. He has contributed to nearly 100 abstracts, proceedings and peer-reviewed journals, and is the lead author of two textbooks on thoracic imaging and one textbook on lung cancer screening.
Dr. Parker served as a technical expert and key informant on the Imaging Guidelines for the Pretreatment Staging of Small Cell Lung Cancer for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Evidence-based Practice Center Systematic Review Protocol Project. He was also inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Radiology, and he was recently named Chair of the Scientific Abstract Subcommittee for the American Roentgen Ray Society. He currently serves on the Practice Quality Improvement Program for the American Roentgen Ray Society. Dr. Parker is also an exam item writer for the American College of Radiology and a diplomat of the American Board of Radiology.