About Us


In October 1972, the National Cancer Institute sponsored the First International Workshop for the Therapy of Lung Cancer at Airlie House Conference Center outside Washington, D.C. The exchange of ideas among this multi-disciplinary international group was both productive and stimulating. At the concluding meeting, Dr. David T. Carr from the Mayo Clinic, USA, introduced the idea of forming an international organization to continue this fruitful exchange of ideas. Enthusiastic support for the concept was voiced by those present at the workshop.

With the leadership of Dr. Carr and the help of Dr. Oleg S. Selawry, Dr. Lawrence Broder and Dr. George Higgins, an organizational committee began the task of development. By mid-1974, approximately 250 individuals had accepted membership in the association. The first organizational meeting was held in conjunction with the XIth International Cancer Congress, sponsored by the UICC in Florence, Italy and a slate of officers and members of the Board of Directors were unanimously elected.

The strong leadership of the association has continued. Below is a list of Executive Directors/CEOs of IASLC since 1994:

  • 1994-2003: Heine H. Hansen, Denmark (Executive Director)
  • 2003-2013: Paul A. Bunn, Jr., USA (Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer)
  • 2013-2018: Fred R. Hirsch, USA (Chief Executive Officer)
  • 2018-Present: Dave Mesko, USA (Chief Executive Officer)

Below is a list of the Presidents since 1974:

  • 1974-76: Oleg Selawry, USA
  • 1976-77: David Carr, USA 
  • 1977-78: Clifton Mountain, USA
  • 1978-80: George Higgins, USA
  • 1980-82: Pierre Alberto, Switzerland
  • 1982-85: Shiohiro Ishikawa, Japan
  • 1985-88: Ronald Vincent, USA
  • 1988-91: Heine Hansen, Denmark
  • 1991-94: Yoshihiro Hayata, Japan
  • 1994-97: Paul A. Bunn, Jr., USA
  • 1997-2000: Giovanni Motta, Italy
  • 2000-03: Harumbi Kato, Japan
  • 2003-05: Frances Shepherd, Canada
  • 2005-07: Desmond Carney, Ireland
  • 2007-09: Nagahiro Saijo, Japan
  • 2009-11: David Gandara, USA
  • 2011-13: Peter Goldstraw, UK
  • 2013-15: Tony Mok, Hong Kong
  • 2015-2017: David Carbone, USA
  • 2017-2019: Giorgio Scagliotti, Italy

The First World Congress on Lung Cancer, sponsored by IASLC, was held in May of 1978, at Hilton Head, South Carolina, with large attendance by participants from throughout the world. The continuing World Conferences on Lung Cancer were held every two or three years in the following locations:

Year Location Conference President Attendance Countries Represented
1978 Hilton Head, SC, USA Dr. Ronald Vincent 106 16
1980 Copenhagen, Denmark Dr. Heine H. Hansen 1,000 38
1982 Tokyo, Japan Dr. Shichiro Ishikawa 1,500 n/a
1985 Toronto, Canada Dr. Ronald Feld 1,064 33
1988 Interlaken, Switzerland Dr. Rudolf Joss 1,100 n/a
1991 Melbourne, Australia Dr. David R. Ball 1,440 47
1994 Colorado Springs, CO, USA Dr. Paul A. Bunn, Jr. 1,347 49
1997 Dublin, Ireland Dr. Desmond N. Carney 2,704 63 
2000 Tokyo, Japan Dr. Y. Hayata 2,135 64
2003 Vancouver, Canada Dr. Nevin Murray 3,344 77
2005 Barcelona, Spain Dr. Rafael Rossell 5,300 92
2007 Seoul, Korea Dr. Jin Soo Lee 4,881  84
2009 San Francisco, CA, USA Drs. David Gandara and David Jablons 6,215 85
2011 Amsterdam, The Netherlands Dr. Pieter Postmus 7,031 100
2013 Sydney, Australia Drs. Kwun Fong and Michael Boyer 5,331 94
2015 Denver, CO, USA Dr. Fred R. Hirsch 5,985 95
2016 Vienna, Austria Dr. Robert Pirker 6,541 90
2017 Yokohama, Japan Drs. Hisao Asamura and Keunchil Park 6,750 90
2018 Toronto, Canada Drs. Frances Shepherd, Natasha Leighl, Andrea Bezjak, Gail Darling 7,444 XX

The IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer (#WCLC19) will be held in Barcelona, Spain, on September 7-10, 2019.

This history of the IASLC is rich. If you would like more information, the IASLC offers a definitive publication that details the first 40 years of its history as a leading organization in the research, prevention and treatment of lung cancer.

Link: https://www.iaslc.org/40th-anniversary#intro