Germany introduces first steps of lung cancer screening programme

Germany has taken a step forward in introducing a national lung cancer screening programme.

Lung cancer screening has the potential to diagnose the disease at an earlier point, improving treatment options and survival rates. In 2019, Germany saw over 63,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the year and around 53,900 deaths from the disease, according to the International Respiratory Society’s Lung Facts.

Germany joins a list of countries moving towards the introduction of low dose CT lung screening programs These include the USA, Canada, Australia, China, South Korea, Croatia, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

Speaking to the website, Professor Marie-Pierre Revel from the SOLACE project, commented: “Another European country moving towards implementation is a very good sign. The program in itself is not very different from what other countries have applied,” she said. “There are small differences regarding the eligibility criteria, and no reimbursement yet.”

Germany has issued a joint statement that paves the way for a lung cancer screening programme. The Lung Cancer Early Detection Ordinance (LuKrFrühErkV) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) is the first step towards this. The next step is for the German Federal Joint Committee (Gemeinsame Bundesausschuss, G-BA) to decide what a programme would look like and what it would include. They will also determine how the costs are covered for people with insurance.

Read the full  text about the new national screening program (in German).