I was delighted to see this getting considerable airtime on the radio this morning: the launch of the London Lung Cancer Alliance with its aim of recruiting 3000 lung patients into clinical trials per year.
Lung cancer is on the rise in the UK and it is a difficult condition for which to raise public awareness and funding, not least because of the misconceptions that people often have about the disease. Stephen Spiro from the British Lung Foundation described it as having a ‘low level of resonance’ with the public in his interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme today.
Having spent a short time with a research funder yesterday as they contemplated the future, the London Lung Cancer Alliance is just the sort of medical research model I think is right for the future: collaborative, providing national coverage, clear about its proposition, bold in its ambitions and close to the patient. The focus on the whole progression of the disease as well as a subject of inquiry is much welcome.
Alan Ashworth, the Chief Executive of the Institute of Cancer Research, London, has written a good blog on the announcement today. It includes his own family experience with lung cancer. At last, there seems to be more than a chink of light at the end of the tunnel for lung cancer research and people with the disease.