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ELCC 2018 | Lung cancer today: screening, surgery & radiotherapy

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Matti Aapro

Speaking from the European Lung Cancer Congress (ELCC) 2018, held in Geneva, Switzerland, Matti Aapro, MD, of the Clinique de Genolier, Genolier, Switzerland, discusses the hot topics in lung cancer today. He speaks about lung cancer screening, improved surgical techniques, and the increasing precision and efficacy of radiotherapy.

Transcript (edited for clarity):

It is very important to realize that those that continue to smoke a lot can have some help in early detection of lung cancer by the use of adapted radiology techniques. There are many efforts ongoing to prove the efficacy of this, and we will soon have some further data. One of the problems is the adherence to these programs. Many people are not going to go for the CT scan, and this might therefore have a lower impact on the general health of the population...

It is very important to realize that those that continue to smoke a lot can have some help in early detection of lung cancer by the use of adapted radiology techniques. There are many efforts ongoing to prove the efficacy of this, and we will soon have some further data. One of the problems is the adherence to these programs. Many people are not going to go for the CT scan, and this might therefore have a lower impact on the general health of the population.

Once the diagnosis is being done now we have wonderful tools for pathology to determine some very specific points in these tumors and this means that we have more and more precise diagnosis. This then means that we have a more and more precise treatment to offer not only from the medical perspective and also from the perspective of radiation of therapy and surgery. And finally, about surgical techniques, the changes are quite remarkable. There are more and more data to show that while it is important to stage the patient very well and be certain of the extent or no extent in the lymph nodes, it is also probably possible to reduce the amount of surgical invasiveness for the patients. But this also offers the question of when is the patient’s better outcome related to surgery or to radiation therapy which has made lots of progress? Clearly more focused radiation, more intensive radiation focalized on the tumor and sparing in the surrounding tissue is one of the progresses of the past few years, and this was clearly stated by Professor Francoise Bonnet at our session. What we also observe is that we have accumulating data showing that for those patients that are not good surgical candidates, radiation therapy with focalized treatment of an early tumor can give probably just as good results as surgery for the patients.

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