October 17, 2014

Experts shine a light on lung cancer challenge

Lung cancer experts from around the world have gathered in Brisbane to share the latest information and research about Australia’s most deadly cancer killer.

The 5th Australian Lung Cancer brings together physicians, surgeons, oncologists, pathologists, general practitioners, nurses to shine a light on the huge impact and significant issues lung cancer patients and health professionals currently face.

More than 11,200 Australians are diagnosed with lung cancer every year with this figure expected to increase by 21% in the next six yearsi.

Conference Chair Professor Kwun Fong said it was vital researchers, health professionals and patients were able to come together and look at the big topics in the field.

“The landscape for cancer care is changing rapidly, with advances in treatment giving new hope for those diagnosed with lung cancer,” Professor Fong said.

“With the latest research developments of targeted therapies, refinements in radiation treatment, and more recently immuno-therapies, options for treating advanced lung cancer have greatly increased,” he said.

“This conference provides a vital space for people to examine issues such as the screening and early detection of lung cancer, genetics and treatment advances as well as local challenges like the treatment and prevalence of lung cancer in Indigenous Australians.

“We want to ensure people have access to the right care at the right time in the right place.”

Lung Foundation Australia CEO Heather Allan said the next decade would be a challenging one as the country addressed the significant burden of lung cancer.

“Lung cancer is Australia’s largest cancer killer representing almost one in ten cancers diagnosed and being responsible for almost one in five cancer deaths in Australiaii,” Mrs Allan said.

“The five year survival rates remain consistently low with only about 15 per cent of people living more than five years after diagnosisiii,” she said.

“Yet lung cancer remains the poor cousin in terms of research funding compared to other forms of cancer.

“A recent Cancer Australia audit of cancer research investment showed only five per cent of tumour-specific research funding was spent on investigating lung cancer, despite it being Australia’s number one cancer killeriv.”

“That’s why we need conferences like this which bring together the best minds locally and internationally to tackle the issues surrounding lung cancer in Australia and the world.”

The Australian Lung Cancer Conference is held every two years and runs until Saturday 18th of October.






i AIHW 2012. Cancer incidence projections, Australia 2011 to 2020. Cat.no. CAN 62. Canberra: AIHW.

ii Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Australasian Association of Cancer Registries 2012, Cancer in Australia: an overview, Cancer series no. 74. Cat. no. CAN 70. Canberra: AIHW.

iiiAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012. Cancer survival and prevalence in Australia: period estimates from 1982 to 2010. Cancer series no. 69. Cat. No. CAN 65. Canberra: AIHW.

iv Cancer Research in Australia: an overview of funding to cancer research projects and research programs in Australia 2006 to 2011