This blog has been produced in collaboration with Cancer Research UK.
Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer – both here in the UK and globally.
And although the UK has seen signs of improvement – lung cancer rates in men have dropped by 50 per cent in the last four decades – a huge burden still looms. Over the last 40 years, the number of women being diagnosed with the disease has increased by 75 per cent, largely mirroring trends in smoking from decades ago.
To highlight this continuing challenge, Cancer Research UK has teamed up with Nature, which today publishes a series of articles that touch on some key areas for lung cancer – from research to prevention – from across the globe.
Here’s a summary of what to expect from the Nature Outlook on lung cancer.
In the first article, Eric Bender explores global statistics for lung cancer, including the impact of smoking in the UK, and the worrying rise in men smoking in China. Cancer Research UK’s graphic below shows how lung cancer rates follow the pattern of smoking rates in the UK.
The next article, from Katherine Bourzac, explores the challenges facing widespread lung cancer screening, and how advances in imaging technology may help improve screening techniques in the future.
Continuing with the screening theme, Professor John Field from the University of Liverpool turns a European eye on the discussion around lung cancer screening.
Michael Eisenstein explores the promise and challenges of developing drugs that target the precise genetic faults driving uncontrolled tumour cell growth – in relation to lung cancer in this article.
Continuing the theme of treatments, Bianca Nogrady takes a look at immunotherapies – drugs that harness the body’s own immune system in the fight against cancer – which are showing promise in early stage trials for lung cancer. Read Cancer Research’s recent blog about these emerging treatments and the science behind the excitement.
The next article, from Sarah Deweerdt, explores research on lung cancer in people who have never smoked. Although we should never underestimate the impact of smoking, if smoking-related lung cancer was separated from the rest, lung cancer in ‘never-smokers’ would still rank seventh in global cancer death rates.
Looking beyond smoking, Traci Watson covers the evidence linking air pollution to lung cancer.
And finally, Nidhi Subbaraman digs deeper on a worrying, yet intriguing, statistic – in Asia, non-smokers with lung cancer are mainly female. Find out why in this article.