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BC Cancer Agency joins world’s first collaborative lung cancer registry


Vancouver, BC – The BC Cancer Agency has joined an international effort launched by Roswell Park Cancer Institute that has the potential to revolutionize the prevention, detection and treatment of lung cancer.

Clinicians and lung cancer experts, representing 11 leading research institutions, recently announced the establishment of the first international lung cancer registry – the Stacey Scott Lung Cancer Registry. The goal of the global collaboration is to deepen understanding of lung cancer at its most treatable, early stages. The registry will be housed at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY

“Having screened individuals at high-risk of developing lung cancer at the BC Cancer Agency for a number of years, we certainly have the potential to provide a wealth of data to the registry,” says Dr Stephen Lam, chair of the lung tumour group at the agency. “But in order to contribute meaningful information to the registry, we need to screen 10,000 patients as well as obtain funding for follow-up and evaluation purposes.”

Precancerous lesions for lung cancer, which previously have been undetectable, can now be visualized using technologies such as autofluorescence bronchoscopy (AFB). Understanding how precancerous conditions become cancerous has been difficult because no single institution was able to gather data from enough patients or to follow up patients for a sufficient period of time to provide clinically relevant answers. To resolve these issues, principal investigators from the 11 centres have agreed to contribute patient information to this multi-institutional, high-risk lung cancer patient registry.

All of that information – millions of dollars’ worth of lung cancer research data – will be organized at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and made accessible to scientists. Researchers will then utilize registry data to initiate studies that may answer critical questions, such as: What changes take place in precancerous lesions that trigger their transformation into lung cancer? What diagnostic test(s) would most effectively screen for those changes? And do genetic biomarkers combined with risk factors, such as smoking, lead to the development of lung cancer?

The Stacey Scott Lung Cancer Registry is named for a previously healthy 38-year-old woman who lost her four-month battle with the disease in 2005.

The collaboration includes pre-eminent lung cancer clinicians and researchers from 11 institutions, including Roswell Park Cancer Institute, headquartered in Buffalo, NY (registry direction); BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; Academic Hospital Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, Jacksonville, FL, and Scottsdale, AZ; New York University Medical Center, New York, NY; Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; and University of Chicago Cancer Research Center, Chicago, IL.