Medical technological advancements enable illness to be understood on an individual patient level, allowing for advanced diagnosis and customized treatment that targets each patient’s unique needs. This strategy, or personalized medicine, has proven particularly successful in oncology, as tumors can now be understood on a molecular level. However, lung cancer which kills over 21,000 Canadians each year and is the leading cause of oncologic death in Canada1 , is not currently optimized through personalized medicine. We interviewed over 70 clinicians, administrators and policy makers from across Ontario and analyzed these interviews to develop key understandings of current issues and future potential of the system. There is great opportunity to positively impact the treatment, mortality rates and social stigma associated with lung cancer. Understanding the current system issues and engaging thought leaders across the country will be critical steps in designing and implementing this personalized medicine system for lung cancer patients.
1National Research Council of Canada (NRCC). Dimensions: Personalized Medicine for Cancer