AstraZeneca and Alfaisal University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that sets out a new national program to reduce lung cancer-related mortality across Saudi Arabia. Under the endorsement of the Saudi National Institute of Health (Saudi NIH), the two entities have come together to develop the ‘United Against Lung Cancer’ initiative to improve the lung cancer patient journey across Saudi Arabia.
Lung cancer remains one of the leading causes of cancer-related mortality worldwide. The incidence of the disease in Saudi Arabia is also rising, with cases often being diagnosed at an advanced stage when treatment is less effective.
Prof. Fars Alanazi, CEO of the Saudi National Institution of Health, said: “Over the past few decades, the incidence and mortality related to lung cancer has increased considerably among the Saudi population. On behalf of the Saudi National Institute of Health, one of the health sector transformation program’s initiatives as part of Vision 2030, we are proud to endorse this initiative that puts lung cancer at the top of our national health agenda and drives real action.”
Through this initiative, AstraZeneca and Alfaisal University will collaborate together to reduce lung cancer mortality rates through focusing on three key objectives: optimising lung cancer diagnosis, maximising identification of early-stage non-small cell lung cancer patients and educating the public about the symptoms and risks of lung cancer.
Commenting on the significance of this collaboration, Sameh ElFangary, Country President for GCC and Pakistan at AstraZeneca, said: “At AstraZeneca, our aim is to improve the quality of lives of patients by redefining the patient journey, from point of diagnosis through to surviving and thriving. Our collaboration with Alfaisal University and endorsement by the Saudi NIH is the start of a promising new patient journey for people affected by lung cancer. This initiative will support us in uncovering unique insights on how we can improve the traditional approach to cancer care, and further help us establish new standards of screening, diagnostics and treatment.”
Prof. Khaled M. AlKattan, Dean, College of Medicine at Alfaisal University and Consultant Thoracic and Lung Transplant Surgeon at King Faisal Hospital added: “When it comes to lung cancer, early detection is key in improving patient outcomes and survival rates. Through our partnership with AstraZeneca, we hope to improve the patient journey by assessing the current referral and screening systems for lung cancer. With a combination of a pilot screening study and public awareness and educational activities, our overall aim is to increase access to diagnostic tools that support early cancer detection.”