APLCC 2016 calls on governments to reduce lung cancer deaths by one-third by 2030

The biennial Asia Pacific Lung Cancer Conference (APLCC 2016) was successfully organized in Chiang Mai, Thailand (13-15 May 2016) by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), Thai Society of Clinical Oncology (TSCO), Chiang Mai Lung Cancer Group and Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University (CMU). 

Screening for breast and cervical cancer is a public health imperative

Akanksha Sethi
Breast and cervical cancers are two major cancers among women. For decades, cervical cancer was the most common cancer in women in India. But now, breast cancer has replaced cervical cancer and become the leading cancer in terms of incidence and number of cancer deaths among women in India. The most common risk factors for breast cancer cited by Dr Pooja Ramakant, Associate Professor, Department of Endocrine and Breast Surgery, Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, are: sedentary life style and lack of exercise; obesity; smoking; late age at first child birth; nulliparity; excess estrogen; early menarche and late menopause; not breast feeding; radiation hazards; junk food and at times genetic mutations which may run in the family.

Raising awareness to reduce asthma burden

Catherine Mwauyakufa, CNS Correspondent, Zimbabwe
(First published at The Minica Post)
Since 1998 the world has recognised May 3 as World Asthma Day and this has helped in raising awareness. Asthma is not curable but through proper medication and appropriate management the disease burden can be reduced. The causes of asthma are not wholly understood but include a mix of genetic predisposition and exposure to triggers.

Minimize air hunger and lead a quality life

Dr Amitava Acharyya, CNS Correspondent, India
The recent decades have seen a sharp increase in the prevalence of allergic diseases, including asthma and allergic rhinitis. Both are common long term diseases that affect the quality of life of patients. It is estimated that 350 million people worldwide suffer from asthma and this figure is projected to add more 100 million of people by year 2025.

How much should new drugs cost to worth the benefit?

Shobha Shukla and Bobby Ramakant, CNS (Citizen News Service)
Dr Gilberto Lopez, Brazil
Decreasing prices of cancer drugs will increase their accessibility. One of the most pressing problems in oncology today is the rising costs of cancer treatment. Cancer medication costs in the US have doubled during the last decade from $5000 a month to about $10000-$12000 per month.

Challenges in using new lung cancer drugs in Asia Pacific

Shobha Shukla and Bobby Ramakant, CNS (Citizen News Service)
Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, and especially in the Asian-Pacific region, is a major public health problem. In 2012, there were an estimated 1.8 million new lung cancer cases (13 percent of all cancers diagnosed), and 1.59 million deaths (19.4 percent of the total cancer deaths). Despite many recent advancements in the treatment of lung cancer, there are challenges in the use of novel regimens.

APLCC 2016 Insight: Issue 3 (15th May 2016)

APLCC 2016 Insight is the official newsletter of IASLC Asia Pacific Lung Cancer Conference (APLCC 2016) being held in Chiang Mai, Thailand: 13-15 May 2016. CNS is the official media partner of APLCC 2016 and managed content for all three issues of APLCC 2016 Insight. Third final issue of APLCC 2016 Insight is online here.

Senior leaders from different countries in Asia Pacific and globally who have contributed significantly on different aspects of lung cancer prevention, diagnostics, treatment, research, care etc, were interviewed by CNS Correspondents in lead up to APLCC 2016. Here is the third final issue of APLCC 2016 Insight.

[Focus] Lung cancer in Philippines: Progress made but challenges remain

Psychological effects of Asthma

Dr Richa Sharma, CNS Correspondent, India
When asked to describe her asthma, Rushali (name changed) says, “It is like a bubble that envelopes me and does not let me breathe. I am always so scared of getting an attack, it makes me very sad.” Asthma, a chronic disease of the airway characterized by heightened response of the trachio-bronchial tree to irritants is often considered a nightmare for the people living with this condition. It is marked by frequent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing.

Dealing with stage IIIA N2 non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Shobha Shukla and Bobby Ramakant, CNS (Citizen News Service)
Dr Francoise Mornex, Member, Board of
Directors, IASLC and APLCC 2016 Committee
The treatment of locally advanced Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) is becoming a significant challenge because of a growing proportion of patients with unresectable stage III disease. Despite a multimodality approach consisting in concurrent chemo-radiotherapy, the prognosis remains poor. “Before starting treatment, the stage IIIA or IIIB status of the patients need to be confirmed. They should have had their CT scan, brain MRI and PET scan done and, additionally, if possible, their N2 status must have been proven either by mediastinoscopy or by endobronchial or endo-esophagus ultrasound. This ensures that they do not have metastasis, their N2 status is known and the size of the tumour is in the stage IIIA or IIIB” said Dr Francoise Mornex, Professor of Oncology at the University Claude Bernard in Lyon, France.

The promise of immunotherapy

Shobha Shukla and Bobby Ramakant, CNS (Citizen News Service)
Prof David Carbone, President, IASLC
The five-year survival of lung cancer patients is historically low. Drug toxicity is another major challenge when it comes to cancer therapies. There is recent strong evidence that a new therapy – immunotherapy, which focuses on inhibiting either PD-1 or PD-L1 - has low toxicity and long-lasting anti-cancer effects in a subset of patients. This therapy promises to be a groundbreaking new approach to lung cancer. This new science also poses new questions: It works incredibly well for only some patients, so identifying a robust biomarker is essential.

SBRT holds the promise of curing early stage NSCLC

Shobha Shukla and Bobby Ramakant, CNS (Citizen News Service)
Prof David Ball
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), also known as Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR), has been in the spotlight for the treatment of lung cancer in the last few years. It holds the promise of not only curing early-stage operable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but does so with minimal toxicity and offers the patient more comfort and convenience. SBRT is a course of very high dose radiation treatment, capable of sterilizing or getting rid of the cancer with one to five abbreviated doses over one to seven days. This treatment dramatically reduces the inconvenience of six-week courses of conventionally fractionated radiotherapy.