IASLC 2019 Small Cell Lung Cancer Meeting focuses on immunotherapy and patient perspective

While non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the more common form of lung cancer and attracts the lion's share of the research funding, recent developments in small cell lung cancer may be shifting that slightly. In order to capitalize on these recent developments, researchers who focus on small cell lung cancer (SCLC) will gather in New York City at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer April 3-5, 2019 for the IASLC 2019 Small Cell Lung Cancer Meeting.

Until 2018, there had been few advances in the treatment of SCLC, which tends to be more aggressive and is often detected at later stages than NSCLC. Because of this, oncologists could offer only limited therapies to those patients.

That changed last year when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the immunotherapy nivolumab for SCLC. The research supporting that FDA recommendation, the Checkmate 032 clinical trial, was presented at the IASLC 18th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC 2018) in Yokohama, Japan, in 2017. Immunotherapy for SCLC will be among the many topics discussed at the Small Cell Lung Cancer Meeting in New York.

Following WCLC 2018, researchers presented a study at the IASLC 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Toronto that found that adding 1L atezolizumab to standard carboplatin and etoposide prolonged overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC), as compared to carboplatin and etoposide treatment alone.

To hear more about new research on SCLC, listen to the Lung Cancer Considered podcast interview with Drs. Christine Hann and Stephen Liu.

Also new at this meeting will be a presentation from a SCLC patient, Montessa Lee. The IASLC was among the first health care associations to include a patient perspective at many of its meetings, and SCLC survivor Montessa Lee will share her inspirational message of hope, resilience and patient advocacy with a clinical audience. The Maryland special education teacher was diagnosed with a 15-centimenter tumor in 2006 but, with chemotherapy and radiation, recovered from her disease and now focuses on writing and sharing her story with other cancer groups.

The meeting also includes basic research on oncogenesis and biology of disease, preclinical therapeutic research and highlights of ongoing clinical translation.

Each of the nine sessions focuses on a unique area of research that is specific to SCLC:Pathology, Omics, Cell of Origin, Development and Tumor Initiation, Tumor Heterogeneity and Tumor Progression, Platforms for Discovery, Targeted Therapies, Biomarker, Immunotherapy for SCLC and recent and ongoing clinical trials.

"This format allows all participants to learn from and interact with investigators approaching the disease from distinct and potentially complementary angles; we believe this is ideal for young investigators and trainees getting up to speed in the area, as well as for active researchers seeking new perspectives and opportunities," said Charles Rudin, MD, from Memorial Sloan Kettering and host of the meeting.

The meeting will begin on the evening of Wednesday April 3rd with an opening keynote lecture by Dr. Anton Berns, whose laboratory was the first to generate a genetically engineered mouse model of SCLC.

Sessions over the next day and a half will focus on advances in SCLC pathology and biomarkers; new insights from genomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic platforms; advances in understanding tumor initiation including cell of origin; analyses of tumor heterogeneity and intratumoral cell-cell interactions; progress in genetically engineered mouse modeling of disease subtypes; and therapeutic advances in targeted agents, immune modulators and others. The meeting will wrap up early afternoon on Friday April 5th.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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