The Associazione Cuneese per lo Studio e la Ricerca Clinica contro il Cancro del Polmone (also known as “Cuneo Lung Cancer Study Group” o “CuLCaSG”) was officially founded on January 20 1994 in Cuneo, a north-western Alpine town close to the French border. The founders were two thoracic physicians, the dr.s Gianfranco Buccheri and Domenico Ferrigno. Like it happens for other similar initiatives (the league against leukemia, Telethon, etc.), the first purpose of the new non-profit organization was helping to develop the medical research focused on a specific disease (in the case of CuLCaSG the targeted disease was the cancer of the lung). Second objectives were continouing medical education and pursuing the excellence in patient care.
In reality, the two doctors’ professional interest for the clinical management of lung cancer dated back to the early eighties. In 1982, dr. Buccheri wrote the first diagnostic and treatment protocols and started to record the clinical and pathological cahracteristics of their patients with lung cancer. In 1984, they started to publish the results of their studies in international peer-reviwed medical journals, such as Cancer, Chest, Lung Cancer, Thorax, The European Respiratory Journal, etc… (for detailed information see the scientific results page in the CuLCaSG WEB site). In the same period, they started to organize educational meetings and conferences for local health professionals, and in 1991 and 1992 the first two national meetings.
In the same years, Dr. Buccheri, the Scientific Secretary of the Group, brought the Cuneo experience to the attention of the world within the framework of very prestigious medical conferences (e.g. the annual meetings organized by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, the European Respiratory Society or the European Federation of Cancer Leagues).
In 1997, Dr. Buccheri knew, through Internet, the people of ALCASE and started to realize that, in order to win the fight against lung cancer, neither the best clinical research nor the professional excellence were enough, if they were pursued by one or few groups only. Instead, there was the need hundreds or thousands of proficient groups working in every country of the world. Prerequisite for this to happen was that a plenty of resources could be assigned to the people working against lung cancer. Dr. Buccheri started to realize the important role of the patients’ advocacy group, in general, and that of ALCASE, in particular.
During that year and thereafter, while CuLCaSG scintific activities did not diminish, the group began to work in the field of advocacy, patient support, and people education. The relationship between the CuLCaSG and ALCASE became more solid.
On October 20 1998, CuLCaSG organized the 2nd Cuneo Lung Cancer Conference with lung cancer experts coming from 4 Continents. For the first time in the medical history, a main session was devoted to the “Patients’ Perspective”. In that session 4 lung cancer survivors (all ALCASE representatives) had the role of speakers, while the audience was made by the best lung cancer doctors.
In the same year, the founders of CuLCaSG decided to found ALCASE Italia, a new non-profit organization, affiliated to ALCASE (presently, Lung Cancer Alliance).
In 2001, ALCASE Italia was a founding member of the Global Lung Cancer Coalition.
Lung cancer experts from any corner of the world gathered for the 2nd Cuneo Conference.