Making lung cancer a policy priority worldwide
The Lung Cancer Policy Network is a global alliance of multidisciplinary stakeholders that have come together to help make lung cancer an international policy priority.Find out more
We will soon be launching an interactive map of lung cancer screening implementation research from around the world.
Why lung cancer?
Many of us will know someone who has been affected by lung cancer. Sadly, this condition accounts for one in five cancer-related deaths globally.1
Although smoking is currently the main cause of lung cancer, the number of people diagnosed with lung cancer who have never smoked is rising.2 In 2020 alone, there were 2.2 million new cases of lung cancer and 1.8 million deaths.1
Lung cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage, when treatment options are limited and survival is poorest.
There are strong social inequalities in the diagnosis, treatment and survival of lung cancer.6-9 It also has a significant economic burden.10-12 The condition’s toll on quality of life can lead to a loss of earnings, placing people with lung cancer under considerable financial pressure.13-15
Despite this, in many countries lung cancer is not recognised as a priority in health policy.
The Lung Cancer Policy Network
The Lung Cancer Policy Network is an international, multidisciplinary alliance that aims to make lung cancer a policy priority worldwide. The Network’s initial goal is to create a community of exchange, through which lessons learnt from the implementation of lung cancer screening can be shared.
We hope to help create momentum for lung cancer screening to become a key policy consideration, ultimately leading to earlier detection of lung cancer and improved treatment outcomes.
Low-dose CT screening for lung cancer: where are we today?
We are at critical juncture when it comes to the early detection of lung cancer.
Early detection via screening presents us with an opportunity to save lives and reduce the financial burden of lung cancer on our societies.4
More than a decade of clinical trials and implementation studies have provided a wealth of evidence on how to design and implement lung cancer screening programmes. This learning can help to optimise the implementation of large-scale, population-based lung cancer screening programmes to reflect local realities on the ground.
To date, only a few countries have committed to implementing lung cancer screening programmes, but many others are preparing or actively considering rolling out organised low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening.
With this in mind, the Lung Cancer Policy Network calls on national governments to prioritise the implementation of targeted lung cancer screening via LDCT.
The time to act is now.
Meet our members: Professor David Baldwin
Professor Baldwin works as a consultant respiratory physician sub-specialising in lung cancer, mesothelioma and interventional procedures.
Launch of the Lung Cancer Policy Network: making lung cancer a policy priority worldwide
Network members have focused on developing two key resources, designed to facilitate learning on how to ensure the implementation of effective, efficient and equitable lung cancer screening LDCT.
Ferlay J, Ervik M, Lam F, et al. 2020. GLOBOCAN 2020 cancer fact sheet: all cancers. Lyon: Global Cancer Observatory
Kerpel-Fronius A, Tammemägi M, Cavic M, et al. 2021. Screening for Lung Cancer in Individuals Who Never Smoked: An International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Early Detection and Screening Committee Report. J Thorac Oncol: 10.1016/j.jtho.2021.07.031
Goldstraw P, Chansky K, Crowley J, et al. 2016. The IASLC lung cancer staging project: proposals for revision of the TNM stage groupings in the forthcoming (eighth) edition of the TNM classification for lung cancer. J Thorac Oncol 11(1): 39-51
Lung Ambition Alliance and The Health Policy Partnership. 2021. Lung cancer screening: the cost of inaction. London: HPP
Allemani C, Matsuda T, Di Carlo V, et al. 2018. Global surveillance of trends in cancer survival 2000–14 (CONCORD-3): analysis of individual records for 37 513 025 patients diagnosed with one of 18 cancers from 322 population-based registries in 71 countries. The Lancet 391(10125): 1023-75
International Agency for Research on Cancer. 2019. Reducing social inequalities in cancer: evidence and priorities for research. Lyon: IARC
Finke I, Behrens G, Weisser L, et al. 2018. Socioeconomic differences and lung cancer survival – systematic review and meta-analysis. Front Oncol 8(536): 1-20
Forrest LF, Adams J, Wareham H, et al. 2013. Socioeconomic inequalities in lung cancer treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med 10(2): e1001376
Peake MD. 2015. Deprivation, distance and death in lung cancer. Thorax 70(2): 108
International Agency for Research on Cancer. 2020. World cancer report: Cancer research for cancer prevention. Lyon: IARC
Luengo-Fernandez R, Leal J, Gray A, et al. 2013. Economic burden of cancer across the European Union: a population-based cost analysis. Lancet Oncol 14(12): 1165-74
Gibson GJ, Loddenkemper R, Sibille Y, et al. 2013. Lung White Book: the economic burden of lung disease. Sheffield: European Respiratory Society: 16-27
Gelband H, Jha P SR, Horton S, , eds. 2015. Cancer: Disease Control Priorities, Third Edition (Volume 3). Washington DC: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and The World Bank
Wood R, Taylor-Stokes G, Smith F, et al. 2019. The humanistic burden of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in Europe: a real-world survey linking patient clinical factors to patient and caregiver burden. Qual Life Res 28(7): 1849-61
Brown CG, Brodsky J, Cataldo J. 2014. Lung cancer stigma, anxiety, depression, and quality of life. J Psychosoc Oncol 32(1): 59-73