Skip to page body Patient Care Survivorship Research Cancer Types News Giving Community Partners Clinical Trials
UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Take the Jonsson Cancer Center Site Survey

JCCC Member Directory

Denise Aberle, M.D.
Denise Aberle, M.D.

General Information:



Professor, Department of Radiology, Department of Bioengineering
Vice Chair of Research, Department of Radiological Sciences
Member, JCCC Healthy and At-Risk Populations Program Area


Thoracic Imaging, UCSF Department of Radiology, 1986
Radiological Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine, 1982 - 1985
Internal Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, 1980 - 1982
Internal Medicine, Kansas University Medical Center School of Medicine, 1979 - 1980
Medical Degree:
M.D., Kansas University Medical Center School of Medicine, 1979


Board Certification(s):
Diagnostic Radiology, American Board of Radiology, 1985
Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 1982

Contact Information:

(310) 301-6800 Radiology information, patient appointments
(310) 794-1450 Thoracic Imaging patient appointments
(310) 206-7274 Thoracic Imaging interventional procedure appointments
(310) 301-6800 Thoracic Imaging referring physicians only

Scientific Interest(s):

Dr. Denise Aberle's research is at the heart of a major public health interest - to determine whether imaging-based techniques are effective for the early detection of lung cancer. This interest culminated in the launch of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) in September 2002, a randomized, controlled trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that has randomized over 53,000 older current or former smokers to receive either low dose helical CT or chest X-ray annually for three years. Participants will be followed closely over a five- to seven-year period overall. The primary endpoint is differential lung cancer-specific mortality between the two screening examinations. The NLST represents the union of two groups, a research grant sponsored by the American College of Radiology Imaging Group (ACRIN) and a contract administered through the NCI. Overall, the NLST represents the largest multi-center clinical trial in lung cancer ever conducted in the United States. Aberle is the principal investigator of the ACRIN-NLST grant, overseeing some 23 sites and 19,000 participants. In her complementary research in oncology informatics, Aberle is working on methods to enable computers to intelligently integrate medical information into problem-centered timelines for thoracic oncology applications. Providing web-based documentation services and knowledge management for clinical trials, these technologies will eventually enable greater efficiency and coordination of care in the clinical environment.

Selected Cancer-Related Publications:

Berg CD, Aberle DR. CT screening for lung cancer. N Engl J Med. 2007; 356(7): 743-4; author reply 746-7.

Black WC, Aberle DR, Berg CD. Large field trial for lung cancer screening: putting the wrong cart before the horse? Radiology. 2007; 243(2): 314-6; discussion 317-8.

Petkovska I, Brown MS, Goldin JG, Kim HJ, McNitt-Gray MF, Abtin FG, Ghurabi RJ, Aberle DR. The effect of lung volume on nodule size on CT. Acad Radiol. 2007; 14(4): 476-85.

Cagnon CH, Cody DD, McNitt-Gray MF, Seibert JA, Judy PF, Aberle DR. Description and implementation of a quality control program in an imaging-based clinical trial. Acad Radiol. 2006; 13(11): 1431-41.

Meyer CR, Johnson TD, McLennan G, Aberle DR, Kazerooni EA, Macmahon H, Mullan BF, Yankelevitz DF, van Beek EJ, Armato SG, McNitt-Gray MF, Reeves AP, Gur D, Henschke CI, Hoffman EA, Bland PH, Laderach G, Pais R, Qing D, Piker C, Guo J, Starkey A, Max D, Croft BY, Clarke LP. Evaluation of lung MDCT nodule annotation across radiologists and methods. Acad Radiol. 2006; 13(10): 1254-65.