Progress made towards launch of lung cancer screening in Europe

A summary of an editorial published in ERJ Open Research

A new editorial celebrates recent steps forward in the effort to bring lung cancer screening programmes to Europe.

What changes have happened?

On 20 September 2022, the European Commission proposed a new approach to cancer screening by including lung cancer to the EU recommendations. Increased screening could help detect lung cancer at an earlier stage when the cancer is easier to treat.

The Council of the European Union adopted the proposal on 9 December 2022. Member States are invited to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of LDCT to screen individuals at high risk for lung cancer. It was also positive to see funding at both the national and European level to start screening programmes.

What are the next steps?

A pioneering new EU4Health project has launched under the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. The Strengthening the screening of Lung Cancer in Europe (SOLACE) project will help introduce lung cancer screening programmes across Europe. It will also break down the barriers to screening to ensure people across all social and economic groups can access it.

The 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.  It will consider the language used to talk about screening, offer help to quit smoking and look at delivering screening in a community setting.

The European Commission lung cancer screening recommendation and the SOLACE project provide a great deal of hope as well as a positive outlook for the future of lung health.

Read the original paper:

Important steps towards a big change for lung health: a joint approach by the European Respiratory Society, the European Society of Radiology and their partners to facilitate implementation of the European Union’s new recommendations on lung cancer screening

Find out more about the SOLACE project