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Greetings from the President

Tetsuya Mitsudomi, MD

It is a great privilege for me to succeed Dr. Yoichi Nakanishi and become the fourth President of the Japanese Lung Cancer Society (JLCS). It is also a great honor, but at the same time, this position carries huge responsibilities, which I pledge to do my best to fulfill.

The Haigan Kenkyu-kai (Lung Cancer Society) that was established in 1960 is the progenitor of the JLCS, which has one of the longest histories among scientific societies worldwide that focus on cancer of a single organ. The JLCS, inaugurated in 1966, evolved to become the Non-Profit Organization (NPO) Japanese Lung Cancer Society in September of 2007. It currently has more than 7,500 active members.

In 1960 when this society was founded, there were 5,171 deaths due to lung cancer in Japan, but this number grew to exceed 50,000 in 1998, when lung cancer became the number one cancer killer by surpassing gastric cancer. Lung cancer now claims more than 70,000 Japanese lives annually.

In 2006, basic anti-cancer regulations were established in Japan to promote professional, interdisciplinary, and collaborative research, ensure that cancer patients receive proper treatment irrespective of the districts where they live, and create a social system for cancer treatment that enables patients to choose their own appropriate treatment. Accordingly, the social environment surrounding medical societies, including the JLCS, has undergone tremendous change of late.

The JLCS was originally created to facilitate the exchange of scientific information among physicians, and seamless collaboration among physicians and researchers still is of paramount importance, as we explore different scientific modalities that will lead to the eradication of lung cancer. However, at the same time, we must cooperate with other health care professionals, patients, and society at large. Also, as an NPO, the JLCS is expected to contribute to the well-being of the general public.

Therefore, the JLCS intends to fulfill its responsibilities through a multifaceted approach, by further raising the scientific level of Japanese lung cancer research, by promoting primary prevention and early detection of lung cancer, by standardizing and optimizing lung cancer treatments, by making the JLCS known internationally, by promoting team-based care involving non-physician health care professionals such as nurses and pharmacists, by supporting patients and their families, and by publicizing its opinions, developed by groups of lung cancer specialists, to society as a whole as well as to regulatory agencies.

Lung cancer is still considered an intractable disease. However, recent progress in molecular targeted therapy against lung cancer, based on advances in our understanding of molecular biology, is both remarkable and promising. We shall tirelessly devote ourselves in the ongoing effort to transform this now fatal disease into a more chronic disorder, and eventually to vanquish it.

9 December, 2014

Tetsuya Mitsudomi, MD
President, The Japan Lung Cancer Society
Department of Thoracic Surgery, Kindai University Faculty of Medicine