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Alan D Lovell

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    MA24 - Initiatives to Improve Health in Lung Cancer Patients (ID 354)

    • Event: WCLC 2019
    • Type: Mini Oral Session
    • Track: Advocacy
    • Presentations: 1
    • Now Available
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      MA24.05 - Lung Cancer in Europe:  Strengthening Policy Responses One Country at a Time (Now Available) (ID 2381)

      14:30 - 16:00  |  Author(s): Alan D Lovell

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
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      Despite diagnostic and treatment progress in lung cancer, outcomes remain poor and costs remain high. Prevalence and mortality rates in Europe are higher than the global average and five-year survival rates stand at a mere 11.2% for men and 13.9% for women. The Economist Intelligence Unit is conducting research to identify the impact of policy on lung cancer incidence and outcomes, sponsored by MSD. Recommendations stemming from our research will support countries to build improved systemic responses for lung cancer.


      Our research centres on twelve countries: Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Following an initial literature review using evidence from internationally-recognised sources (e.g. Globocan, OECD, and proprietary Economist Intelligence Unit sources), we organised our thinking into five domains. This is operationalised by quantitative and qualitative indicators to provide insight into how each country addresses cancer planning and guideline usage as well as how strategic thinking impacts behaviour and access.

      At a meeting with leading European experts, we presented our initial findings and validated our framework. The next step was to populate our scorecard to compare policy and practice in each country. Individual country profiles were developed from our findings, examining local barriers to progress in terms of service delivery, systems, access, financing and governance. Workshops were then held in each country. Meeting with a range of leading clinicians, patient organisations, and other key stakeholders ensured a detailed examination of our preliminary findings and, most importantly, enabled us to obtain further information on conditions within each country. This nuanced information provides us with a clearer grasp on approaches to the provision of lung cancer care to a greater degree than we could have obtained from desk research alone.


      Preliminary results indicate patches of good practice, yet no country scores highly across all of our measurements and each country has several opportunities for improvement. For example, all but one country has a national cancer control plan: of eleven plans, nine are over five years old which means that they are not taking account of recent oncological innovations. Often, a country’s national lung cancer clinical guidelines lack details regarding fast-tracking suspected patients for diagnosis as well as referral pathways for moving a patient to secondary/tertiary care, supportive/palliative care, shared decision-making, and provision of psychological support in specific time periods. Cancer registries exist in each country, yet clinicians report that clinically-focused cancer registries could provide useful information on patient care. Finally, reimbursement for all four commonly used biomarkers for lung cancer is available in only five countries.


      Significant room for improvement in lung cancer policy exists across all of the countries and domains we have studied. Our country-based workshops have ensured that our research focuses on the most important opportunities for improving the delivery of lung cancer care from the standpoint of each country. We are now entering the policy development phase of our research where our goal is to assist policy-makers to improve care for people living with lung cancer in Europe.

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