July 2014 Newsletter

July 2014 Newsletter

Table of Contents

  President Corner
Tony Mok Photo
Tony S.K. Mok, IASLC President

ASCO, American Society of Clinical Oncology, is likely the most prominent and influential academic organization in the field of oncology. Her annual meeting is attended by close to 30,000 participants and results of many important discoveries or clinical studies are announced in this meeting. This American society also takes on a global leadership and has extended her influence internationally. Over 50% of the annual meeting attendees are international delegates and over 30% of her members are from outside the United States of America (USA).  Over the past decade ASCO has proactively developed an International Strategy with the objective of improving clinical practice and sharing new oncology knowledge around the world. Their International Affairs Committee has successfully launched numerous programs including the Multidisciplinary Cancer Management Course, Best of ASCO, Cancer Corps and Fellowship programs to engage and improve the standard of oncology care worldwide. There is no doubt that their effort has made a positive impact and their outcomes are admirable. However, IASLC starts with an ‘I’ and ‘I’ stands for International and is a favorite saying by Dr. Paul A. Bunn, Jr. MD, a giant in thoracic oncology and our ex-CEO. It was the vision of Dr. Heine Hansen and other founders of IASLC to develop an international organization from day one. They saw lung cancer as a global illness thus the need to fight it with global effort. The Presidency of IASLC is rotated between the USA, Europe and the Rest of the World (ROW). The Board of Director positions and a majority of the committee membership are shared equally in a similar manner. Even the World Conference on Lung Cancer is genuinely a World meeting that migrates through the USA, Europe and the ROW.  IASLC has full intention of being an international organization and has to be managed by international leadership. We can proudly claim to be a true global organization with global vision that definitively makes global impact, and the only global organization which focuses solely on lung cancer and other thoracic malignances. The preparation for the World Conference in Denver 2015 is ongoing and we are confident that much new science and updates will be presented there.

Fred Hirsch
Fred R. Hirsch, IASLC Chief Executive Officer

Dear Colleagues,

Education in lung cancer management for doctors in community practices is of high priority for IASLC. I am proud to tell that IASLC has recently made a joint project partnership with American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) to develop educational “class room” programs in diagnosis and management of patients with lung cancer, which will include programs in the US and Europe. IASLC is very proud of this collaborative effort, and the first summit will be held in the US this fall. Another new IASLC project is the expert conference on “Small Cell Lung Cancer” (SCLC), which will be held next year in April in NYC. While much progress these days is happening for patients with NSCLC, new encouraging scientific discoveries are also happening in SCLC, but a coordinated effort to develop new science and bring it to clinical trials is missing. Therefore, IASLC has decided to take a lead in this effort and bring international experts together, which hopefully will lead to international collaboration and guidance for future research in SCLC.

Two large ongoing international IASLC projects are soon coming to completion; the WHO/IASLC new histo-pathological classification of malignant thoracic tumors has been a focused project for our pathology committee under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Nicholson and our previous committee chairs; Drs. William Travis and Elisabeth Brambilla. The official publication is expected to be finished in the beginning of 2015 and officially launched at the World Conference in Denver, September 2015. The other large project is the new IASLC Staging System (8th Edition), which include staging of thymic tumors and mesotheliomas as well. The project is currently ongoing under the leadership of Dr. Ramon Rami- Porta and publications are currently being prepared. The new staging system is planned to be presented at the WCLC in Denver as well.

 The IASLC Office will again encourage our members to subscribe to our "Multidisciplinary Textbook" with subsequent updated chapters. The Textbook is the most comprehensive textbook on thoracic malignancies and introductory discounted deals are still being offered.

Finally, but not least, we will encourage as many of our members as possible to attend our regional meetings. Very good scientific and educational programs have been developed for the Latin-American Lung Cancer Conference (LALCA) in Peru in August, the Chicago Multidisciplinary Conference on Thoracic Malignancies in October/November and the Asian Pacific Lung Cancer Conference (APLCC) in November.


IASLC APLCC Committee Research Fellowship Award 1 year duration - Application Deadline August 15, 2014
The IASLC APLCC Committee is proud to announce the IASLC APLCC Research Fellowship  Award. It is one award for one year for an applicant from the Asia Pacific Area to be funded with $40,000 by an APLCC grant to work in US/EU major center in order to obtain laboratory skill and collaboration. Read More 

8th Webinar: IASLC Grand Rounds Series: Recent Advances in the Treatment of Squamous Cell Lung Cancer
LIVE: August 18, 2014 at 8:00PM EDT.
The Eighth webinar in the series: IASLC Grand Rounds Series - Recent Advances in the Treatment of Squamous Cell Lung Cancer takes place on August 18, 2014 at 8:00PM EDT More

Advanced Radiation Therapy Live Webinar Series
September, and October 2014
The IASLC Education Committee is pleased to announce a series of Live Webinars presented by the Advanced Radiation Therapy (ART) Committee. More

Latin American Lung Cancer Conference (LALCA) - Registration now open!
The Latin American Lung Cancer Conference will bring together more than 1,000 medical professionals in Lima, Peru to discuss the latest in lung cancer research and treatment.
August 21 - 23 2014 | Lima, Peru | View Details
Registration and housing now open for the 2014 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology
Registration and housing are now open for the 2014 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology, taking place October 30-November 1 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. This two-and-a-half day meeting brings together physician specialists and practicing clinicians to examine multidisciplinary approaches for the treatment of thoracic cancers. Co-sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), ASTRO, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and the University of Chicago, the meeting includes case-based presentations and discussions on future directions for cancer treatment. Register by July 22 to receive the low early-bird rates. View Details
Asian Pacific Lung Cancer Conference (APLCC) - ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE AUGUST 1.
The Asian Pacific Lung Cancer Conference will bring together medical professionals In Malaysia to discuss the latest in lung cancer research and treatment.
November 6 - 8 2014 | Malaysia | View Details
The 1st Announcement is now available for the 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Denver, Colorado, USA September 6-9, 2015.
The 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer will be one of the largest international gatherings of multidisciplinary experts in the field of lung cancer and thoracic malignancies. Those interested in all aspects of lung cancer and thoracic malignancies including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, radiologists, pathologists, epidemiologists, basic research scientists, nurses, allied-health professionals, and patient advocates are encouraged to attend this extraordinary conference. Read More


All IASLC Meeting Information
To see the full schedule of IASLC Meetings, visit our event page.


TThe IASLC Multidisciplinary Approach to Thoracic Oncology, is available for purchase, is designed to be the authoritative educational resource in the complex field of thoracic oncology. The IASLC Multidisciplinary Approach to Thoracic Oncology is now available for purchase! As a member you will receive a $50 dollar discount on your purchase. It is available in soft-cover format for $225 $175 (plus Shipping & Handling), the digital subscription for $225 $175 or get both for $300 $250 (plus Shipping & Handling). When you purchase the digital subscription you will receive access and free updates through December 2016. Click Here to make your purchase.

Dr Luis E. Raez started a medical mission program to Peru in 2005.

 Dr. Raez was originally joined by a group of people that has successfully gone to other medical missions.

"We have successfully done in the last 7 years 12 medical missions to Peru to 3 different underserved locations in the coast, highlands and jungle," stated Dr. Raez. "During each medical mission close to 3,000 patients are seen and evaluated. The focus is in general medicine, pediatrics, dermatology and gynecology. We bring donations from the US that allows us to provide free medication to the patients."

In Peru the providers have support from several governmental and non-governmental organizations that join them in this effort and follow the patients.

 "There is not enough space to explain why this is an amazing experience, maybe we can say that when we are giving away something that can be our medical expertise, or medication or food; it does not matter how small we believe it to be. What matters is how much impact it causes in the lives of people who receive it."

Dr. Raez and others that journey on these medical missions stress it does not matter how you want to support one of these projects, just that there are many ways: form going and helping to collecting donations or funds everything will matter a lot. IASLC Members if you have an experience like Dr. Raez, we would like to hear from you. Email me at

In this month’s newsletter, the Newsletter Committee asked a select number of members to give their review of the science that was presented at the ASCO 2014 meeting.

Geoffrey Oxnard - adjuvant erlotinib in RADIANT, SELECT trials and the ALCHEMIST
My take-home from ASCO 2014 is that adjuvant erlotinib for EGFR-mutant lung cancer is a strategy that can't be written off, and needs rigorous study. The RADIANT trial of adjuvant erlotinib vs placebo was negative as expected given the mixed genotype population. However, in a subset of 161 EGFR-mutant cancers, erlotinib led to a robust improvement in disease-free survival (HR 0.61) despite sub-optimal drug adherence and a stage imbalance favoring placebo. Historically, improvements in DFS have led to improvements in survival - to study this definitively, a larger genotype-selected trial is needed. Such a trial of erlotinib versus placebo for 2 years will be a component of the ALCHEMIST study which will open this summer through the NCI's National Clinical Trials Network. How do we get patients to adhere to an adjuvant erlotinib regimen? We can learn from the single-arm SELECT trial of adjuvant erlotinib in 100 patients. In this study, 69% of patients completed at least 22 months of drug and 40% required a dose reduction; interestingly, patients recurring after stopping erlotinib could gain a durable response from restarting the drug. While adjuvant erlotinib will not yet become a standard part of my practice, you can be sure that I will have my patients with resected lung cancer tested for EGFR mutations on the ALCHEMIST study, and I will encourage subsequent enrollment in the randomized study.

Ross Soo - SCLC abstracts 7502-7506
In a multi-centre study of 498 patients, Ben Slotman from University Medical Center in Amsterdam, reported thoracic radiotherapy (RT) and prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) prolonged overall and progression-free survival versus with PCI alone in patients with extensive-stage (ES) small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) (Abstract 7502). Patients treated with platinum-based chemotherapy and achieved any response were randomized to either thoracic RT with PCI or to PCI alone. Although the primary endpoint of one year overall survival (OS) was not met (HR= 0.84; 95% CI: 0.69-1.01; P = 0.066), the two year survival was 13% in the experimental arm and 3% in the control arm (P = 0.004). Progression-free survival (PFS) was also prolonged (HR 0.73; 95% CI: 0.61-0.87; P = .001). Prof Slotman concluded thoracic RT should be offered in addition to PCI to all patients with extensive stage SCLC who responded initially to chemotherapy. The discussant, Prof Walter Curran, Jr, of Emory University, described the study as well executed and adequately powered with intriguing results but cautioned the time point comparison at 2 years was not the primary trial endpoint and the conclusion was not supported by presented data. For Dr. Soo’s full summary click here.

Heather Wakelee - 3rd generation EGFR inhibitors CO1686 and AZ9291
One of the most exciting sessions at ASCO 2014 was the Clinical Science Symposium on 3rd generation Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (EGFR TKIs). HM61713 data was very preliminary and hopefully with dose expansion a higher response rate will be noted. Both the CO-1686 and AZD9291 compounds though are very promising at this time with both demonstrating response rates in the 60% range (58% CO-1686 and 64% AZD92921) in the secondary resistance T790M patient population. At this point it is too early to call one of these drugs the “winner”. The liabilities of CO-1686 are the twice daily dosing and unusual toxicity of hyperglycemia, but the toxicity is manageable with hypoglycemic agents (typically oral medications are sufficient). The AZD9291 compound can be given on a daily schedule and has an encouraging toxicity profile, but with low rates of significant rash and diarrhea at the highest doses, and a few cases of interstitial lung disease (ILD) like events, which are of concern. Time will tell the true PFS and OS outcomes with these compounds, which will be the more important deciding factors and there are substantial efforts ongoing for development of both CO-1686 and AZD9291.


Highlighted JTO Articles

ROS1 gene fusions are found in 2.4% of Asian patients with lung adenocarcinoma and are associated with young age at diagnosis.
DENVER – ROS1 fusion genes were successfully detected independent of gender or smoking history in young East Asian patients with lung adenocarcinoma, a histological subgroup in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), using multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) diagnostic tests.
Jul 21 2014 | More

Increased overall survival for advanced stage NSCLC patients is associated with availability of less toxic chemotherapy.
DENVER – A 10-year population-based study shows that increased availability of better systemic chemo- and targeted-therapies for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) coincides with increased usage of these therapies. This in turn leads to a significant increase in overall survival.
Jul 21 2014 | More

Invite a Fellow for FREE IASLC Membership
You may already be aware that the IASLC offers FREE membership to fellows, but we want to make sure that more trainees around the world in multiple specialties are taking advantage of membership. Because of the importance of young investigators to the future of lung cancer research, fellows, residents and trainees may apply for free, non-voting membership by submitting a signed letter stating the term dates of their fellowship, residency or proof of trainee status from their department. 
Fellows, residents and trainees from all specialties are encouraged to join, including those from nursing and other allied health professions. Fellow membership is available for a maximum of two years. Fellows are non-voting members, entitled to many other IASLC benefits including online access to the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO). 
Please invite a Fellow, Resident or Trainee today!
Member News
Are you active in Social Media?
Social media can be a powerful influence in the lives of those who use it. This is true for those affected by lung cancer.  Social media is trending to be a major communication tool for those seeking answers and support in the care for themselves or a loved one. IASLC encourages the use of social to support the mission of the IASLC. The Communication Committee is seeking members to volunteer help in developing and implementing the strategic communication plan via social media. If you are interested please use the online form to self-nominate for the position.  If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact Rob Mansheim, Director of Communications, at We look forward to the global conversation on lung cancer through social media.

IASLC MEMBERS: If you have a newsworthy item or career change you would like featured, please email Rob Mansheim for consideration.

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and the Van Auken Private Foundation (VAPF) Young Innovators Team Award to support novel, innovative, transdisciplinary and translational team research with potential of high clinical impact in lung cancer. READ MORE

The Fiscal Year 2014 Defense Appropriations Act provides $10.5 million to the Department of Defense Lung Cancer Research Program (LCRP) to support innovative, high-impact lung cancer research. READ MORE

Uniting Against Lung Cancer - Legacy Program
Application Deadline: August 13, 2014
Since 2003, Uniting Against Lung Cancer has awarded over $11.5 million supporting research aimed at improved treatment and a cure for lung cancers, including non-small cell and small cell lung cancers. The Foundation prioritizes novel ideas with potential to make a significant impact on current treatment of lung cancer and patient survival, adding years rather than months. READ MORE

15th Annual International Lung Cancer Congress
The International Lung Cancer Congress® provides current, practical information on the management of lung cancer, as well as a look at the novel agents and strategies that will shape the future of lung cancer therapy.
July 31 - August 2 2014 | Huntington Beach, California | View Details

IASLC MEMBERS: If you have a career or funding opportunity you would like featured in a future newsletter, please email Rob Mansheim for consideration.

This Month's Contributors:
IASLC Newsletter Editor: Anne Tsao, MD - USA

Fred R Hirsch; Tony S.K. Mok; Geoffrey Oxnard, USA; Ross Soo, Singapore; Heather Wakelee, USA;

IASLC Newsletter Subcommittee:

Ingrid Du Rand, UK; Glenda Colburn, Australia; Geoffrey Oxnard, USA; Sai-Hong Ou, USA; Ross Soo, Singapore; Carolyn Clary-Macy, USA; Richard Booton, UK; Heather Wakelee, USA; Rob Mansheim, Staff Liaison

Are you interested in getting more involved in IASLC?  In order to meet increased communication needs, the IASLC is seeking to expand the Communications Committee. IASLC is especially interested in volunteer members who are active on social media.  Please use the online form to self-nominate for the position.  If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact Rob Mansheim at

IASLC MEMBERS: If you have a newsworthy item or career opportunity you would like featured, please email Rob Mansheim for consideration.