Around 50,000 people in Germany are diagnosed with lung cancer every year. The new lung cancer guideline was published at the German Cancer Congress in Berlin after three years of work to improve this tumor disease's prevention, diagnosis, therapy, and aftercare.
"With the new findings, it will be possible to improve treatments and increase patients' chances of survival. Physicians will also have a better basis for making decisions about care through evidence-based and formally consented recommendations. This is an important milestone for cancer therapy," says Professor Torsten Bauer, President of the German Society of Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP). The professional society played a leading role in promoting the guideline.
Individualized treatment on the rise
In addition to the DGP, the German Cancer Society has played a leading role, and some 50 scientific experts have contributed to the work, including numerous scientists from the DZL. "This means that we have mapped the most current therapeutic standard, which has made great progress in recent years," says Professor Wolfgang Schütte, overall coordinator of the guideline and one of the lead authors. The revised guideline reflects the new, highly diverse, promising therapeutic options leading to greater individualization in lung cancer treatment.
The experts suggest that every newly diagnosed lung cancer patient should present to a thoracic oncology tumor board, which will make a treatment decision based on the currently valid guidelines. "Especially in immunotherapy, there are many new drug developments that can be used in a very targeted manner," Schütte said.
Supporting medical decisions
The second update of the guideline is intended to better support physicians, affected patients, and citizens at increased risk for lung cancer in making medical decisions. It also creates a basis for targeted physician education, training, and continuing education. The authors of the guideline call for the widespread implementation of multidisciplinary, quality-assured, and multisectoral care for lung cancer. They also advocate optimizing the diagnostic chain and stage-appropriate therapy for the initial disease, tumor recurrence, or metastasis.
Translating research findings more quickly into practice
The second update of the guideline is much more comprehensive than the previous one. "That's partly because there are now many more specialized aspects to consider in the extensive treatment options. Lung cancer treatment today is much more differentiated and also more complicated than it was ten years ago," says co-author Schütte.
Due to the great dynamism in this field of research, the experts want to continue working on the guideline and publish it promptly. In this way, research findings should be put into practice more quickly in the future. Schütte hopes that even more patients will participate in clinical tumor research in the future. In addition, a corresponding patient guideline is to be published as early as next year.
Source: DGP press release