Highlights from the Community 365 Roundtable Meeting on Lung Cancer

08 December 2020

Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer mortality and has a wide variation in treatment and outcomes in Europe. The Community 365 Roundtable Meeting on Lung Cancer on 7 December 2020, launched the Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care: Lung Cancer and featured presentations and discussions related to this important topic.

The information presented in the latest of our Quality Cancer Care Network’s Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care series, provides a description of the essential requirements for establishing a high-quality lung cancer service.

Speaking at the Roundtable meeting, Prof Yolande Lievens, Co-Chair of the Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care: Lung Cancer, said:

“Why should the EU and national governments give special attention to certain tumour types? In recent decades we have seen inspiring progress in science and treatment outcomes for many types of cancer, with much improved survival. Recent therapeutic advances have shown to impact outcome for specific lung cancer patients. However, the overall survival in this large population of 300,000 EU citizens remains poor, meaning there is still great room for improvement.

The tools and options explored at our roundtable show a way forward:

  • Using new technologies to achieve earlier detection
  • Ensuring true multidisciplinary and multiprofessional care with our Essential Requirements roadmap
  • Getting better with the use of molecular testing to guide treatment
  • Measuring what we do and what we are achieving to create continuous improvement cycles.

With lung cancer, big challenges are there, but so are some of the solutions.

If the EU and governments are looking for an area in cancer policy where great impact could be achieved with focused attention, lung cancer is undoubtedly a leading candidate.”

Summarised during Prof Lieven’s presentation were the agreed needs to be met for lung cancer care including such matters as:

  • Multidisciplinary team working among core and extended groups of professionals
  • Performance measurement of outcomes and care
  • Professional education needs
  • Meeting research needs in daily practice
  • Patient involvement, access to information and transparency

The virtual meeting then heard from a range of stakeholders about pressing needs to be met to improve lung cancer care:

  • The need for early diagnosis and screening in lung cancer, highlighting that now is the time to determine implementation roadmaps across Europe.
  • The need for equitable access in Europe to multidisciplinary molecular tumour boards and to high-quality Comprehensive Genomic Profiling based on NGS technology for lung cancer patients embedded in an appropriate infrastructure.

The final session included a presentation and discussion on a case study on the importance of quality indicators from the Netherlands.

Two members of the European Parliament joined the meeting to connect the issues under discussion with current EU policy initiatives such as the Beating Cancer Plan, EU4Health and EU Cancer Mission.

Irena Joveva MEP, Renew Europe (Slovenia) and Member of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer urged an official European goal of doubling survival for poor prognosis tumours such as lung cancer and pancreatic cancer and called for a European cancer dashboard to measure progress for challenging tumours such as lung cancer.

Frances Fitzgerald MEP, European People’s Party (Ireland) and Member of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer, called for an active look at EU regulation of e-cigarettes in the context of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, further emphasis on widening access to innovative medicines across Europe, and an upgrade of EU screening guidelines to cover lung cancer screening.

The full report from the meeting will be published in January 2021.

Lung Cancer Roundtable 2020

  • View the recording of the Roundtable meeting here.
  • Download the Roundtable meeting presentation slides here.
  • Review the Roundtable meeting thread on Twitter here.