Lung Ambition Alliance: Almost a Quarter of Lung Cancer Deaths Could be Prevented in High-Risk Populations Through Targeted Lung Cancer Screening Globally

LONDON–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – A report released today, “Lung cancer screening: the cost of inaction”shows that screening for lung cancer presents a critical opportunity to dramatically improve survival.1 Almost a quarter of lung cancer deaths could be prevented in high-risk populations through the adoption of targeted screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), as based on the results of the NELSON study.2 The study of over 13,000 people found that in a high-risk European population, deaths were reduced by LDCT scan screening to 18.4% of total deaths, compared to 24.4% in the control group. after ten years of follow-up.

Lung cancer causes 1.8 million deaths per year and bears the heaviest economic burden of all cancers, costing € 18.8 billion per year* in Europe alone.3.4 Developed for the Lung Ambition Alliance, the new report found that the large-scale implementation of targeted screening using LDCT scanners can dramatically reduce this financial burden and improve patient survival – by increasing the number of lung cancers detected at an early stage where the prognosis is better. and more treatment options are available.

Currently, only about one in five patients worldwide are diagnosed with stage I, where they have a 68-92% chance of surviving five years, compared to less than 10% when diagnosed with stage IV. 5.6.7 Early stage lung cancer can be managed with less complex and less expensive clinical pathways than when diagnosed at later stages, resulting in significant cost savings through early diagnosis.8,9,10 As lung cancer progresses, health care costs rise due to increased frequency of hospital admissions, additional cycles of treatment, additional care needs and a greater likelihood of palliative care .11

Earlier diagnosis also reduces the loss of productivity due to cancer overall, as more patients and caregivers can stay active, and in some cases their cancer becomes a treatable disease rather than a fatal one.ten In Europe, lost productivity due to premature lung cancer mortality costs nearly € 10 billion each year.3

Professor Giorgio Scagliotti, Former President and Acting Scientific Director of IASLC, Professor of Medical Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Turin, Italy, said: “Anyone with lung cancer deserves care that offers the best chance of early detection and improved survival. The evidence from large-scale randomized clinical trials is compelling: low-dose targeted CT screening has the potential to save patients’ lives. Today is the second anniversary of the Lung Ambition Alliance, and although treatment for lung cancer has come to this day, to realize the full potential of these advances, we must ensure that people have early access to screening. and effective diagnosis, which would allow them to act quickly on possible symptoms of cancer.

Fewer screenings are needed to prevent death from lung cancer than from other types of cancer. The NELSON study found that for every 320 LDCT scans administered, one life could be saved, compared to 864 tests for colorectal cancer and between 645 and 1724 scans for breast cancer. 12, 13.14 However, screening for lung cancer is not as widely available as screening for breast and colorectal cancer.15

Unfortunately for lung cancer screening, policy change has lagged behind changing attitudes as new evidence has become available. In a survey of policymakers in seven countries (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK, US), the majority (75%) felt that countries should invest in targeted screening programs lung cancer.16 Only a few countries around the world have committed to introducing nationwide testing programs, including the United States, Japan, South Korea, Croatia, Poland, and Australia.1 The report calls on governments to implement large-scale LDCT testing in high-risk populations and provides implementation guidance based on decades of global research.

Mohit Manrao, Vice President and Head of Global Lung Cancer Franchise, AstraZeneca, said, “We cannot pass up the opportunity to ease the burden of lung cancer on society through effective screening. Not only will early detection benefit patients, but this approach also has the potential to reduce costs to health systems, ensure greater long-term sustainability, and help governments meet their targets for reducing disease. cancer mortality as a whole. Early diagnosis is essential to achieve the best possible results for patients with lung cancer. We now have a better understanding of the complexities of lung cancer and how to treat it, and indeed, it is imperative to provide patients with the care best suited to the characteristics of their disease. ”

About Lung Ambition Alliance

The Lung Ambition Alliance is a flagship partnership of various organizations united in the quest to eliminate lung cancer as a cause of death. The Alliance aims to accelerate progress and bring about meaningful change for lung cancer patients by amplifying the expertise of each partner and prioritizing meaningful projects that can advance its goal. Founding partners – the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), Guardant Health, the Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC) and AstraZeneca – will explore and overcome barriers to early detection and diagnosis, drug development innovative and quality care. , and pursue an ambitious vision for the future of lung cancer that begins with doubling five-year survival by 2025.

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The references


* The cost of lung cancer in the EU in 2009

1 The partnership for health policies. Lung Cancer Screening: The Cost of Inaction Report. June 2021

2 by Koning hJ, ​​et al. Reduced lung cancer mortality through volume computed tomography screening in a randomized trial. NEJM. 2020,382: 503-513

3 Ferlay J, Ervik, M, Lam, F, Colombet, M, Mery, L, Piñeros, M, Znaor, A, Soerjomataram, I, Bray, F ,. World Cancer Observatory: Cancer Today. Available at: Accessed June 2021.

4 Luengo-Fernandez R, Leal J, Gray A, et al. 2013. Economic Burden of Cancer in the European Union: A Population-Based Cost Analysis. The Lancet Oncology 14 (12): 1165-74

5 Goldstraw P, Chansky K, Crowley J, et al. 2016. The IASLC Lung Cancer Staging Project: Proposals for Revision of TNM Staging Groups in the Next (Eighth) Edition of the TNM Classification for Lung Cancer. Journal of Thoracic Oncology 11 (1): 39-51

6 Heist RS, Judge Engelman. 2012. Snapshot: Non-small cell lung cancer. Cancer cell 21 (3): 448.e2

7 Public Health England, National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Staging data in England. Available at: Accessed June 2021.

8 Lung cancer Europe. 2019. Challenges of early diagnosis and screening in lung cancer. Bern: Lung cancer Europe

9Arrieta O, Quintana-Carrillo RH, Ahumada-Curiel G, et al. 2014. Medical care costs incurred by patients with smoking-related non-small cell lung cancer treated at the National Cancer Institute of Mexico. Tobacco Induced Diseases 12 (1): 25

ten 10 Haaf K, Tammemägi MC, Bondy SJ, et al. 2017. Performance and Cost-Effectiveness of CT Lung Cancer Screening Scenarios in a Population Context: Microsimulation Modeling Analysis in Ontario, Canada. PLOS Medicine 14 (2): e1002225

11 Bois et al. (2019). Burden of costs associated with advanced non-small cell lung cancer in Europe and influence of disease stage. BMC Cancer 19, 214 (2019). Accessed June 2021.

12 Aberle DR, Adams AM, Berg CD, et al. 2011. Reduced Lung Cancer Mortality Using Low-Dose CT Scanning. New England Journal of Medicine 365 (5): 395-409

13 Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care. 2018. Breast Cancer Update: Tool for 1000 People. Calgary: CTFPHC

14 Fitzpatrick-Lewis D, Ali MU, Warren R, et al. 2016. Colorectal cancer screening: systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Colorectal Cancer 15 (4): 298-313

15 Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Lung cancer screening should be more frequent. Available at: [Accessed July 2021].

16 YouGov Poll: Lung Cancer Decision Makers Survey. April 2021. AZ data on file.

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