The 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC 2018) of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) was held September 23-26, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. The 2018 Conference was the world’s largest international gathering of clinicians, researchers and scientists from more than 100 countries in the field of lung cancer and thoracic oncology.
Many of the leading lung cancer experts from North Carolina attended, and Dr. Hiren Mehta, a pulmonologist with UNC Rex Healthcare and board member with Lung Cancer Initiative shares some of this year’s highlights below:
Lung Screening Decreases Mortality: This is study will leave no doubt in the utility of Lung Cancer screening.
- The Dutch-Belgium Lung Cancer Screening trial (NELSON) showed that lung cancer screening significantly reduces lung cancer mortality. In this trial, which was more favorable than the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST), low dose CT screening decreased mortality by 26 percent in asymptomatic men at high risk for lung cancer. In a smaller subset of women, the results showed an even greater benefit to lung cancer screening than in men.
IMpower 133 Trial.
- This trial demonstrated clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival over current standard-of-care for patients with small cell lung cancer. In this trial, an immunotherapy drug called Tecentriq (atezolizumab) was added to the standard chemotherapy that patients with small cell lung cancer receive, and the combination resulted in a longer time before the cancer returned and longer survival for patients.
Immunotherapy for Stage III NSCLC
- Earlier this year, Imfinzi (durvalumab) was the first immunotherapy drug approved by the FDA for stage III non-small cell lung cancer, given after chemotherapy and radiation. New data was presented from the PACFIC trial that showed that this treatment results in significant and meaningful improvement in the patients’ overall survival.
We are again given hope by the research presented at this conference and know that patients will be soon if not already benefitting from these new advances.