A broad cross section of the lung cancer community, including clinical experts, patient advocates and public policy leaders, convened in Washington, DC, December 9–10 for the Third Annual National Lung Cancer Roundtable’s (NLCRT) annual meeting.
While the roundtable engages in year-round activities, the annual meeting serves to facilitate a robust dialogue for national lung cancer awareness, prevention, early detection and optimal diagnosis and therapy through public and provider education, health policy activities and the collective engagement of member organizations.
The American College of Radiology’s® (ACR’s®) Ella A. Kazerooni, MD, FACR, MS, who also serves as NLCT chair, kicked off the meeting with a welcome address highlighting the roundtable’s mission of treating lung cancer survivors.
The keynote address by Susan Dentzer, a senior policy fellow at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, focused “cancer care without walls.” Dentzer emphasized the evolution of health care and how advances in technology and research and a desire to increase opportunities for less restrictive personalized medicine can be leveraged to meet every patient’s needs.
Core sessions began with an in-depth panel discussion on population health. ACR Board of Chancellors Chair Geraldine McGinty, MD, FACR, MBA, and other panelists discussed barriers to lung cancer screening and the downstream impact on various population demographics.
The panel also discussed strategies to broaden and/or increase reimbursement for lung cancer screening and how to incentivize health systems and communities to establish entire systems of care specifically designed to support screening of high-risk patients and individuals already receiving treatments for lung cancer.
Subsequent panels offered a comprehensive overview of the state of lung cancer today. Various speakers highlighted the status of existing lung cancer screening programs, the latest data relating to lung cancer rates and screening evidence data, an examination of tobacco-related disparities, and the importance of a strong collaborations with primary care providers.
Individual expert workshops also provided an opportunity for a “deep dive” into various NLCRT initiatives, collective challenges and strategies for moving forward. These sessions featured several radiologists and members of the ACR Lung Cancer Screening (LCS) 2.0 steering committee. They addressed rural/urban disparities, keys to establishing effective LCS programs and the importance of integrating tobacco cessation efforts into the continuum of care.
The meeting culminated with sessions devoted to how to best harness emerging technologies to improve screening, diagnosis, treatment and the necessity of addressing stigma in lung cancer care.
In addition, James Pantelas, a 14-year lung cancer survivor and advocate, provided a compelling patient testimonial and challenged meeting attendees to embrace five key takeaways: change the face of lung cancer, call out stigma when you see it, make stupidity appear stupid, increase research funding, and widen the search for lung cancer cures by educating and including others.
Speakers and attendees expressed admiration for the high levels of energy and enthusiasm felt throughout the two-day meeting. Implementation of the NLCRT’s strategic plan, the work of its 10 task groups and the roundtable’s overall day-to-day efforts will no doubt be enhanced by this latest in-person confab of lung cancer experts.
Founded in 2016, the NLCRT is a national coalition of public, private, and voluntary organizations and invited individuals, dedicated to reducing the incidence of and mortality from lung cancer in the U.S., through coordinated leadership, strategic planning, and advocacy. The ACR is a member.