Cancer specific clinical pathways describe the journey that an individual will take, typically from the first point of contact with a care provider to diagnosis of cancer through to the completion of their cancer treatment, well follow-up and palliative/end-of-life care. By ensuring a consistent approach to care, clinical care pathways can drive value, enhance patient safety, reduce unnecessary variation, increase patient satisfaction and optimize the use of increasingly scarce resources.

Sharing information, comparing practices and evaluating outcomes across the cancer control system provides a basis for identifying areas for improvement. Systematically measuring and reporting on clinical pathways and identifying what is working within the system and what needs to change enables collective understanding and efforts to be harnessed to raise the bar and improve cancer treatment in Canada.

Given interprovincial differences in lung cancer outcomes, a focus on lung cancer pathway development, implementation and evaluation provides an opportunity for alignment and collaboration between Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. This project will not only align the interest of several provincial cancer agencies who are either already developing and implementing pathways or who are interested in lung cancer pathway implementation specifically, and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s strengths in system efficiency, measurement, and coordination of pan-Canadian efforts.

Several cancer agencies in Canada and internationally have published lung cancer pathways that will be useful references as new pathways are developed across Canada.

Pathway documents

Cancer Care Ontario. Lung Cancer Diagnosis Pathway. Version 2012.02.

Cancer Care Ontario. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment Pathway. Version 2014.03.

Cancer Care Ontario. Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment Pathway. Version 2014.03.

Cancer Council Victoria. Optimal cancer care for people with lung cancer: A guide to consistent care. Victoria NZ; 2014.

Government of South Australia, Cancer Australia. South Australia Lung Cancer Pathway: Optimising outcomes for all South Australians diagnosed with Lung Cancer. Australia; 2013.

InSixty. Cancer Care Manitoba Lung Cancer Pathway

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. NICE Pathways: Lung Cancer. United Kingdom; 2014.

Stevens W, Stevens G, Kolbe K, Murray M, Holm R, Cameron J et al. Clinical Audit Report. The Lung Cancer Pathway from Initial Presentation to Healthcare Services until Diagnosis (Auckland and Lakes Regions). New Zealand; 2010.

Patient Pathways

CanNET. Cancer Journeys in the Northern Territory: NT Patient Cancer Care Referral Pathways: Trachea/Lung Cancer.

NHS Wales. Macmillan All Wales Patient Information – Lung Cancer Information Pathway – Draft.

Northern Ireland Cancer Network (2011). Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Patient Information Pathways.


London Cancer Alliance (2013). LCA Lung Cancer Clinical Guidelines.

National Lung Cancer Audit Project Team (2013). National Lung Cancer Audit Report 2013: Report for the audit period 2012.

National Lung Cancer Working Group (2011). Standards of Service Provision for Lung Cancer Patients in New Zealand. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

NHS Wales (2005). National Standards for Lung Cancer Services 2005.