The earlier lung cancer is diagnosed, the better the chances of cure. However, not all people with an increased risk of developing lung cancer are reached equally well and sufficiently by early detection services. With 10 million euros, the European Union (EU) is now funding a project to improve screening for all risk groups, regardless of social inequalities. The three-year programme is scientifically led by DZL scientist Prof. Hans-Ulrich Kauczor and his team at Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD).
Systematic screening is lacking
In contrast to other types of cancer, there are no systematic screening tests for lung cancer so far. A safe, uncomplicated, and effective screening test for lung cancer is low-dose computed tomography (CT). "According to US and European studies, low-dose CT can reduce deaths by 20 percent. Nevertheless, there are many reasons why at-risk individuals do not have access to screening, resulting in late detection of lung cancer," says Kauczor. "Our goal is, therefore, to create clear, concise, and practical guidelines for implementing a lung cancer screening programme in the EU while identifying and enrolling specific populations currently underrepresented in screening."
SOLACE also aims to provide mobile screening units to better reach people living in remote areas, for example.
SOLACE involves 33 institutions with representatives from research institutions, university hospitals, national health authorities, patient organisations, and health professional associations. The European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR) in Vienna coordinates the project.
Source: Heidelberg University Hospital