Lung Cancer Summit

August 2017

Progress with lung summit recommendations

The Victorian Lung Cancer Service Redesign Program has been established following the Lung Summit recommendation:

Funding to be allocated for state-wide projects to evaluate and optimise the timeliness of lung cancer care from referral to diagnosis to treatment

Over the last 18 months eight Victorian hospitals have been participating in this program.  For more information contact

This is a great example of the Victorian Tumour Summits initiative resulting in scaling up of innovation and engagement of clinicians in cancer service improvement.

Read the full summit report or learn more about the lung summit recommendations

Watch the lung cancer summit data presentation

About the summit

In brief, this was a gathering of around 60 multidisciplinary clinicians providing care to lung cancer patients across Victoria.  Professor Robert Thomas, Chief Cancer Advisor Department of Health, opened the event highlighting the importance of clinical networks to drive statewide improvements in cancer care and outcomes.  Professor David Ball, chair of the lung summit working party, presented available data about the current state of lung cancer care and outcomes in Victoria.  A summary of key measures was available to participants as a quick reference.

Lung cancer care in Victoria presentation highlights:
  • Significant variation in five year survival between regional and metropolitan residents with lung cancer
  • Difference in the likelihood of receiving a tissue diagnosis across different ICS
  • Some data suggests timeliness of diagnosis and treatment is an issue
  • Low volumes of major lung surgery in a number of Victorian health services
  • Sixty eight percent of lung cases discussed at lung multidisciplinary treatment planning meetings
  • Variation in rates of adjuvant chemo across ICS
  • Underutilisation of radiation therapy
  • Low and variable uptake on formalised supportive care screening

A lively discussion ensued about potential gaps and geographical variations in care and outcomes for lung cancer. For example, suggestions were made to further investigate outcomes in hospitals with low volumes of major lung surgery and the difference in tissue diganosis between some ICS.  A list of opportunties for improvement and discussion points was prioritised for further workshopping in the afternoon session.

Identifying the actions and agreeing first steps

The following seven opportunities were identified as most important to work on:

  • Improve patient access to lung specialists
  • Improve quality of diagnosis and staging for lung cancer patients
  • Improve access and timeliness to treatment
  • Better and earlier access to palliative care
  • Better engagement with general practitioners
  • Equitable access to allied health
  • Consensus on best practice model for lung multidisciplinary treatment

Next Steps

Based on the identified actions a statewide plan of work for lung cancer care improvements will be presented to the Victorian Integrated Cancer Services Network early in 2015.

Involvement of clinicians in progressing lung summit actions is crucial.  If you are interested in being involved please contact Mirela Matthews on 03 9496 3322

Lung Summit Working Party
Prof David Ball (Chair)
A/Prof Paul Mitchell
Dr Craig Underhill
Dr Jeremy Ruben
Dr Rob Stirling
Dr Andreas Baisch
Dr Richard De Boer
Dr Gary Richardson
Mr Gavin Wright
Dr Michael MacManus
Dr Jackie Yoong
Mr Andrew Barling
Dr Danielle Mazza


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