More personalised medicine for lung cancer: benefits and barriers

EDITED: 19/06/2017 | PUBLISHED: 13/01/2017

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Personalised Medicine held a roundtable discussion in the House of Lords on Tuesday 28 February. Parliamentarians and experts from across the medical, academic, corporate and public sectors came together to explore patient needs and scientific opportunities for more personalised and effective care for people with lung cancer.

Attendees were welcomed by APPG Chair Jo Churchill MP before hearing Janette Rawlinson, a lung cancer survivor and active participant in her local Clinical Commissioning Group, offer important insights from a patient perspective on what matters to patients.

Presenting views from clinicians were Dr Sanjay Popat (Consultant Thoracic Medical Oncologist, The Royal Marsden) and Dr Robert Rintoul (Consultant Respiratory Physician, Papworth Hospital), who discussed the benefits of more personalised care for lung cancer, focusing respectively on circulating tumour DNA testing and breath biopsy for earlier diagnosis.

The meeting concluded with a lively Q&A where attendees posed questions on how the most effective innovations could be translated from research into routine NHS care, ways to raise clinician awareness of developments in practice especially in general practice, and the need to incorporate patients into their care plan. Minutes from this important discussion will be available shortly.

At the next meeting the APPG will consider personalised medicine for cardiovascular disease.​

Minutes from the roundtable discussion are available here.

Quotes from the day

"Recognise that we’re all different and therefore might have different wishes… different things are important to different patients at different stages in their life.”

Janette Rawlinson
Lung cancer patient, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

"So the way forward is very much implementing this technology into practice. We need to be able to embrace this technology to find ways in which this technology can be commissioned into routine NHS care.”

Dr Sanjay Popat
Consultant Thoracic Medical Oncologist, The Royal Marsden / Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London

"Patients who present with early stage disease, with small tumours…the outcomes are much better. We probably have a chance of about 50 – 70 percent long term survival and potential cure. To really improve outcomes from lung cancer we need to be able to detect it at a much earlier stage."

Dr Robert Rintoul
Consultant Respiratory Physician / Lead Clinician for Cancer, Papworth Hospital Clinical Trials Unit Collaboration / Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow, University of Cambridge