Lung cancer screening via annual low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) has poor adoption. We conducted a prospective case-control study among 958 individuals eligible for lung cancer screening to develop a blood-based lung cancer detection test that when positive is followed by an LDCT. Changes in genome-wide cell-free DNA (cfDNA) fragmentation profiles (fragmentomes) in peripheral blood reflected genomic and chromatin characteristics of lung cancer. We applied machine learning to fragmentome features to identify individuals who were more or less likely to have lung cancer. We trained the classifier using 576 cases and controls from study samples, and then validated it in a held-out group of 382 cases and controls. The validation demonstrated high sensitivity for lung cancer, and consistency across demographic groups and comorbid conditions. Applying test performance to the screening eligible population in a five-year model with modest utilization assumptions suggested the potential to prevent thousands of lung cancer deaths.

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