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Lung cancer, what lung units are and why they are needed

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Lung cancer, what lung units are and why they are needed

In recent decades, scientific research has made it possible to develop new therapies for lung cancer. This has meant that 5-year survival has increased from 12% to 16% in men and from 14% to 20% in women. A figure that is not considered sufficient given the effort, including economic, that has been made. What doesn’t work, then? The experts gathered from 30 November to 2 December at the FONICAP LILT National Congress at the Verona Chamber of Commerce have no doubts: the cause is that over 50% of patients with thoraco-pulmonary tumors are treated in structures that are not always adequate, especially for biomolecular profiling of the neoplasm. And they launch an appeal, in the words of the National President of FONICAP, Antonio Santo: “It is essential that the patient is taken care of by operators with proven experience, organized in multidisciplinary and functional groups or, better yet, structural groups such as the Lung Units on in the wake of the Breast Units which are reporting important results in breast cancer”.

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What is a Lung Unit

“It is important to intervene on organizational aspects. In some Italian hospitals, including the Pederzoli hospital in Peschiera, the way has been opened to the creation of the structural Lung Unit, with immediate benefits for patients. It is an organizational model that presents the prerequisites for improving the diagnostic and therapeutic process of the oncopneumology patient, which can be a point of reference at a national level”, underlines Santo. But for FONICAP, the creation of a national interdisciplinary oncopneumology network among healthcare professionals for the exchange of experiences and information is also fundamental. With these assumptions, the FONICAP network was born, chaired by Rossana Berardi, which counts on a network of over 50 GIOT interdisciplinary thoracic oncology groups located in the main hospital facilities throughout Italy for the care of oncopneumology patients. “It is essential to provide totally professional support to patients and families – underlines Santo. – Around 1000 healthcare workers are part of the FONICAP network and this is already a virtual audience that we hope will also be shared by other healthcare organisations”.

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Three days of debates

In these three days of conferences, more purely scientific topics will also be addressed, such as the role of immunotherapy and molecularly targeted biological therapies in various thoraco-pulmonary tumors. But we will also insist on the importance of prevention, in particular the fight against smoking, which still represents the main cause for the onset of these tumors, especially in women, significant growth rates are recorded. As has become a FONICAP tradition, the Congress also represents the opportunity to award the 2024 scholarships and to finance research and clinical studies to be carried out in the next year. “A task of extraordinary importance which sees us at the forefront, above all to guarantee young people the possibility of carrying out research in an area with great prospects.” concludes Santo.

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