On March, 28 the yearly conference of the European Agency for Personalized Medicine (EAPM), entitled “Innovation, Guidelines and Screening: the case of lung cancer”, took place in Brussels. The discussion was about lung cancer, the big killer among neoplasms par excellance.

The conclusion is, that it is necessary to plan lung cancer screenings throughout Europe. We also need to estimate the cost, resource and risk, while efficacy trials gave satisfying results.

We spoke with Doctor Giulia Veronesi, Supervisor of the Robotic Surgery Section for Thoracic Surgery at Humanitas, speaker at the meeting.

The importance of the screening

The fight against lung cancer is really important. In fact, it is a neoplasm, “that affects a huge number of people and has the highest mortality rate. It makes more victims than prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer put together.

The scientific community agrees on the efficacy of this screening, via low-dose TC. No more studies are needed, even though a forthcoming European study (Nelson) will increase or decrease evidence in support of the efficacy found in US studies. However, even if they brought negative results, they would not be strong enough to hinder current results”, the doctor explains.

The next steps

“The Health Commission of the European Parliament, spoke about screenings in December, but has not produced any recommendation about lung cancer yet. To do so, it needs an evaluation of the economic impact and a feasibility assessment at a European level. We now have the guidelines written by different European societies. However, we still have work to do on the applicability within specific States.

We plan on organizing a Consensus Conference, to define in greater detail the organisational aspects of the single Member countries, involving Health Economics experts, to help us evaluate the economic impact”, Doctor Veronesi says.