Who treats lung cancer? Results from a global survey.


BACKGROUND: In most Western nations, the medical oncologist plays a significant role in the administration of systemic therapy for lung cancer. In Japan however, treatment for lung cancer has historically been provided by pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons. A comparison of the management of advanced disease between Japan and other nations has not been described.

METHODS: An online, self-administered, international survey was sent to 3907 active members of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Eligible participants were degreed physicians who prescribed systemic agents for adult cancer treatment within the past five years.

RESULTS: In total, 281 respondents answered the questions regarding management of lung cancer. Thorough analysis demonstrated that pulmonologists play a significant role in Japan and the Netherlands, where the role of oncologic specialists is not well established. Of note, all the respondents from the Netherlands reported that pulmonary medicine primarily manages systemic chemotherapy in stage IV, adjuvant chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.

CONCLUSION: We found there are several nations where non-oncologic specialists play a critical role in the systemic treatment of lung cancer. We expect this practice pattern to continue until the global adoption of the oncologic specialty role.

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Respir Investig

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