Lung cancer has an 80% cure rate when caught early, and screening programs are key to providing this chance. The VA and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation have established the VA-Partnership to increase Access to Lung Screening (VA-PALS) Implementation Network.
The initiative builds upon experience gained from other screening programs, the VA says, including those of the VA’s Office of Rural Health, which is supporting the project’s goal to reach veterans living in rural areas. It also adds to a portfolio of other major VA lung cancer initiatives, including the VALOR Trial (Veterans Affairs Lung Cancer Or Stereotactic Radiotherapy) and the APOLLO Network (Applied Proteogenomics OrganizationaL Learning and Outcomes).
“Research shows that with comprehensive lung screening programs, early identification of lung cancer leads to more effective treatments and, ultimately, saves lives,” said John Damonti, president of Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the project’s sponsor.
The project will launch with lung-screening services at the Phoenix VA Health Care System in Arizona by December 2017, and then extend these services to 9 additional VA medical facilities starting in 2018.