Evidence-Based Lung Cancer Guidelines to Debut in January

Article excerpt

CLINICAL PRACTICE

New guidelines for the detection and treatment of lung cancer, due to appear this coming January, were previewed at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), held last month in San Diego.

About three years ago, the ACCP saw a need for new comprehensive, evidencebased guidelines. First, technology for improved lung cancer detection and treatment has been advancing rapidly, with new detection methods and with Food & Drug Administration approval of eight drugs for lung cancer between 1996 and 2001. Also, survival rates for different modes of lung cancer treatment have changed. Accordingly, the guidelines in place were becoming obsolete.

Second, there were no evidence-based guidelines for lung cancer available. In addition, the ACCP membership believed that since multidisciplinary approaches to lung cancer treatment were proving to be more effective than those achieved by a single discipline, and since the organization had always been multidisciplinary in nature, it was the right group for the task.

The Lung Cancer Guidelines Project began with an extensive review of the relevant literature, which was accomplished by an international team of more than 80 lung cancer experts representing 13 medical specialty societies in addition to ACCP Their mandate was to assess scientifically proven methods of detection and treatment and make recommendations based on those assessments in order to help practicing physicians give their patients the best possible treatment. Project participants anticipate that these guidelines will have a huge positive impact on lung cancer treatment and on the health of the nation, since more people die of lung cancer than of breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers combined.

The result is a comprehensive set of recommendations based on proven scientific findings, which will be published in early 2003. These guidelines will be the first lung cancer guidelines to be entirely evidence based. …