Strategy Built on Four Goals of Research, Treatment, Tumor Testing and Clinical Trial Participation
MADISON, Wis., March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Only 16 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer survive five years; but that will soon change through a transformative effort by the National Lung Cancer Partnership to double the survival rate by 2022.
Lung cancer claims more than160,000 lives in the United States every year, more than any other cancer and more than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. The five-year lung cancer survival rate has barely budged in the past decade, inching up from 15 percent to 16 percent. That's because most people aren't diagnosed until the disease is advanced, and their treatment options are limited. Research funding is vital to turning that around – including for the development of new, more effective therapies for treating lung cancer – but lags far behind that of other cancers.
"At the heart of this new vision is a promise that everyone diagnosed with lung cancer will have a greater chance of survival than ever before," said Joan Schiller, MD, president of the National Lung Cancer Partnership and chief of hematology/oncology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "We're committed to the dedication, collaboration and inspiration it will take to achieve this ambitious vision because we are committed to every single person across the country whose life has been touched by lung cancer."The Partnership's vision to double lung cancer survival by 2022 features four goals backed by solid metrics to ensure quantifiable progress:
- Fund research with the greatest potential to save lives: To ensure a growing research investment, the Partnership will collaborate with organizations and empower people to take action in their communities and raise funds through various programs. For example, the Partnership plans to more than quadruple from 41,000 to 200,000 the number of people reached through its Free to Breathe event series by 2022. Through walks, runs, yogathons and other events, Free to Breathe unites people who are passionate about creating public awareness of lung cancer and raising vital funds for research.
- Help all patients fully understand their treatment options: Getting the right information to patients at the right time through a variety of educational resources – including via health care providers – will translate to more patients receiving the most effective care as early as possible. Currently reaching about 16,000 patients every year through its informational campaigns – including patient handbooks and videos – the Partnership vows to increase that to 200,000 patients by 2022.
- Ensure molecular tumor testing is the standard of care: The Partnership will help patients understand the importance of molecular tumor testing, which assesses the DNA and other characteristics of the tumor to guide the physician in prescribing the most effective treatment. While only two lung cancer genetic targets are treated with approved therapies today, the Partnership aims for at least 10 to be treatable by 2022.
- Double the number of lung cancer patients participating in clinical trials: The Partnership will help patients understand the importance of participating in clinical trials, which can lead to new cutting-edge therapies and treatments, as well as work with physicians to ensure greater participation among their patients. The Partnership will more than double the number of lung cancer patients who participate in clinical trials annually from less than two percent of eligible patients to 5 percent.