The Strengthening the screening of Lung Cancer in Europe (SOLACE) project will break down the barriers to screening to ensure people across all social and economic groups can access it.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer. As with all cancers, survival rates are much higher when it is caught early.
Low-Dose Computed Tomography scans (LDCT) are a safe, simple, and effective way of screening for lung cancer. Multiple trials in the USA and Europe have shown that LDCT, when effectively implemented, can reduce deaths from lung cancer by 20%. The new EU Cancer Screening Recommendation invites Member States to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of LDCT to screen individuals at high risk for lung cancer. The EU-funded SOLACE project supports Member States with implementation and will provide a personalised toolbox to national and regional centres to facilitate the implementation of lung cancer screening programmes across the EU, with a particular focus on groups that are at higher risk due to health inequalities.
There are many reasons that individuals at risk are not accessing lung cancer screening. Often, this relates to historical inequalities that exist with marginalised and vulnerable communities. Factors such as smoking can be more prevalent in these groups, further compounding their risk of lung cancer.
Ivica Belina, a member of the European Lung Foundation Lung Cancer Patient Advisory Group from Croatia, said, “One of the main problems with lung cancer is stigma. We need a change in how we relate to people suffering from lung cancer, from a societal point of view. The SOLACE project can really change that and lift the stigma for patients.”
SOLACE will have to consider many factors to facilitate the implementation of a lung cancer screening programme across the 27 countries of the EU. The first pilot programmes will be run in 10 EU countries. Many of these will serve remote communities, which pose specific challenges due to their distance from a hospital. As part of the project, one approach SOLACE will take is to provide transportation or mobile screening units.
The European Lung Foundation (ELF) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) oversee the project’s dissemination and outreach activities. ERS also has a crucial role as on of the the scientific leaders in the consortium while ELF provides input from the patient perspective.
The SOLACE project was officially launched on 01 April 2023 and will run for 3 years.
With the start of the project, SOLACE is opening enrolment to the Stakeholder Forum.
Why join the SOLACE Stakeholder Forum?
To join the SOLACE Stakeholder Forum please subscribe via this form or contact Natalia Liagka.
SOLACE is an EU project funded under the EU4Health programme coordinated by the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR). The SOLACE consortium includes 34 entities with representation from academic and research institutions, university hospitals, national health authorities, organisations and associations representing patients and health care professionals. Over the next 36 months, the consortium will be active in at least 10 lung cancer screening programmes across Europe. The aim of the project is to create clear, concise, and practical guidelines on implementing a lung cancer screening programme as well as to identify and enrol specific populations that are currently underrepresented
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