Global Lung Cancer Coalition to identify patient challenges and improve support strategies in partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer IngelheimThe Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC) announced today, at the 15th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Sydney, Australia, a campaign, supported by Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), to increase the knowledge and understanding of real world challenges facing individuals and families battling lung cancer. 'Lung Cancer: We're Listening' will gather much needed feedback from individuals touched by lung cancer - including patients, carers, family members, friends, healthcare professionals and work colleagues.

"By gathering insights and listening to real-life experiences from those directly affected by lung cancer, we can increase our knowledge and understanding of the challenges faced by lung cancer patients," said Dr Matthew Peters, chair of The Global Lung Cancer Coalition. "This knowledge can be used by the GLCC and shared with appropriate healthcare providers to effect change and improve patient-centric programmes, services and tools. This closely aligns with the GLCC's commitment to improving outcomes for all lung cancer patients and placing lung cancer squarely on the global health agenda."

Lung cancer is not only the most common cancer in the world, accounting for 1.6 million new cancer cases each year,1 but it is also the biggest cancer killer.2 Lung cancer is not just one disease; there are distinct subtypes and tailored approaches to treatment can improve patient outcomes. However, there is still a lack of understanding of the disease, and its impact on patients and those caring for them. A key driver of 'Lung Cancer: We're Listening' is a global need to better understand the real world challenges of lung cancer patients. By learning more about their specific challenges with many topics, including relating to changes in roles and relationships, stigmatisation, and difficulty communicating with their healthcare team, the campaign will help to improve the support and information available to them.

'Lung Cancer: We're Listening' adopts a unique approach to gathering patient feedback by minimizing the text-based feedback format and focusing on presenting the survey visually. A novel online tool, with a simple navigation, asks respondents to click on predefined graphics, symbols and elements within a web-based visual world to give their feedback on issues that are relevant to them. The visual elements represent challenges and issues of importance in the lives of lung cancer patients and their caregivers and families. The graphics and symbols they select will reveal their most pressing issues and concerns, mirroring over time the lung cancer patient's real world agenda and experiences.

This approach is the first of its kind designed to 'listen in' on the real world of lung cancer patients, and bridge the gap between healthcare providers and their patients' situations. Results will be shared with the lung cancer community and the insights shared with those involved in providing patient services to aid the development of new programmes, services and educational materials that better meet patients' needs.

"We need to understand how patients feel, in order to better help them," said Prof Klaus Dugi, Corporate Senior Vice President Medicine, Boehringer Ingelheim. "With patients at the centre of our commitment to oncology, together with the GLCC we can use 'Lung Cancer: We're Listening' to inform programmes on a global scale and to develop more effective approaches to support the lung cancer community by improving patients’ lives beyond treatment."

The 'Lung Cancer: We're Listening' website will launch in mid-November to coincide with Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

About Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the world with incidence rates higher in men than in women, it accounts for 1.6 million new cancer cases annually. Because of its poor prognosis, 1.38 million deaths each year are attributable to lung cancer. Overall, lung cancer is the cause of 18% of all cancer deaths and approximately 13% of all new cases of cancer are lung cancers.(1,3)

About the Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC)
Established in 2001, the GLCC comprises 28 non-government patient organisations from Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and US.

The GLCC is committed to improving disease outcomes for all lung cancer patients and aims to address the following issues:

  • place lung cancer on the global healthcare agenda
  • change public perceptions and lessen the stigma of lung cancer
  • empower lung cancer patients to take an active role in their care
  • effect change in legislative or regulatory policies to optimise treatment and care

About Boehringer Ingelheim in Oncology
Building on scientific expertise and excellence in the fields of pulmonary and cardiovascular medicine, metabolic disease, neurology, virology and immunology, Boehringer Ingelheim has embarked on a major research programme to develop innovative cancer drugs. Working in close collaboration with the international scientific community and a number of the world’s leading cancer centres, Boehringer Ingelheim' s commitment to oncology is underpinned by using advances in science to develop a range of targeted therapies for various solid tumours and haematological cancers.

The current focus of research includes compounds in three areas: signal transduction inhibition, angiogenesis inhibition and cell-cycle kinase inhibition.In the EU, Taiwan, Mexico and Chile, afatinib is approved under the brand name GIOTRIF®, and in the U.S. under the brand name GILOTRIFTM for use in patients with distinct types of NSCLC. Afatinib is under regulatory review by health authorities in Asia and other countries. Nintedanib*, a triple angiokinase inhibitor is currently in Phase III clinical development in NSCLC and ovarian cancer. In the area of cell-cycle kinase inhibition, volasertib* is in phase III development for acute myeloid leukaemia.

Boehringer Ingelheim's oncology pipeline is evolving and demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to advance the disease area.

About Boehringer Ingelheim
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 140 affiliates and more than 46,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

Social responsibility is a central element of Boehringer Ingelheim's culture. Involvement in social projects, caring for employees and their families, and providing equal opportunities for all employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim's endeavours.

In 2012, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 14.7 billion euro. R&D expenditure in the business area Prescription Medicines corresponds to 22.5% of its net sales.

1. Ferlay J, ShinHR, Bray F, et al. Estimates of worldwide burden of cancer in 2008:GLOBOCAN 2008. Int J Cancer. 2010;127:2893-917.
2. Parkin DM, Bray F, Ferlay J, Pisani P. Global cancer statistics 2002. CA Cancer J Clin2005;55:74-108.
3. Cancer Research UK. UK lung cancer incidence.CancerStats – Key Facts 2009. [Online] Available at: http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/lung/incidence/ [Last Accessed July 2013].

*Nintedanib and volasertib areinvestigational compounds and are not yet approved. Their safety and efficacy have not yet been fully established.

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