The mission of our conference is to understand the issues surrounding early diagnosis of lung cancer, how to optimize early treatment, and to expand practice-relevant research to medical and scientific communities in the U.S. and abroad.
The Early Lung Cancer Action Program (ELCAP) screening effort began in 1992 and evolved into the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP). This expansion was facilitated by the ELCAP management system which allowed screening programs to start throughout the world. The resulting accumulated data and analyses have provided new knowledge which has been integrated into the continually updated screening regimen so that it remains state-of-the-art. These advances are addressed in each conference.
The Early Lung Cancer Research on Treatment (IELCART) uses the power of the prospective cohort design to accumulate data on treatment in the context of clinical care, as was done in I-ELCAP cohort in the context of clinical program of screening. The data are used to efficiently address questions about the optimal treatment of early, small Stage I lung cancers. Its goal is to maximize the benefit of screening by identifying optimal treatment alternatives. The newest area of research at this conference focuses on interstitial lung disease (ILD). Following the same paradigm for research on early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, we have now developed an ILD registry and are recruiting collaborating sites.