June 2014 Newsletter


June 2014 Newsletter


Table of Contents

  President Corner

Tony Mok Photo

Tony S.K. Mok, IASLC President

Personalized medicine is a popular term but yet its success doesn’t come easy. Over the past decade we had successfully established EGFR mutation and ALK mutation as the prime target for personalized medicine. The key ingredients to successful formula of personalize therapy for lung cancer would include driver oncogene, biomarker and established efficacy in the biomarker-selected population ( and lack of such in the biomarker-negative population).

Similar to EGFR, c-MET is a receptor tyrosine kinase for the transmembane receptor for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and upon activation, it induce a cascade of downstream cellular functions including proliferation, migration and invasion. Extensive works have been reported but question remains: is c-MET a driver oncogene? If so, what state of c-MET is considered a driver: mutation, amplification or over expression? Under the light of recent failed phase III study on tivantinib and onatuzumab, we have also learnt (in a painful manner) that histology and overexpression (by IHC) are not the biomarker of choice for c-MET. I do still believe that c-MET is a very promising target for personalized therapy. We just have not met with c-MET in a proper manner.


Fred Hirsch

Fred R. Hirsch, IASLC Chief Executive Officer

Dear Colleagues,

Many of us are these days enjoying the summer season. However, that does not mean that IASLC is on vacation!

We are these days launching the “IASLC Multidisciplinary Textbook in Thoracic Malignancies” after several years of work. Congratulations to more than 160 contributors and especially to the Chief Editor, Dr. Harvey Pass and Co-Editors, Drs. Giorgio Scagliotti and David Ball. We are currently offering a discount for subscription, which also will include regular updates of the chapters!

The IASLC has several important meetings coming up; firstly, the Latin American Lung Cancer Conference in Lima, Peru, August 21-24 and later this fall both the Asian-Pacific Lung Cancer Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the Multidisciplinary Thoracic Malignancy Meeting in Chicago. We would like to encourage as many as possible, particularly members and non-members in those specific regions to participate. Very exciting programs have been developed for all of those meetings.

We will also pay attention to our monthly ongoing webinar series, which has been very successful.

The IASLC Office wants to wish all our IASLC-family members, who these days are enjoying the summer season, a happy and healthy season!

LALCA 2014 Preview
LALCA has been the most important meeting for lung cancer in Latin America for more than 10 years (we are going to have the 6th LALCA in Peru) not only because brings together oncologists from more than 21 countries but also increases awareness about lung cancer. Unfortunately in Latin America the lung cancer epidemic and public health problem is just developing and we will see the full bloom in the following decade. As IASLC working in Latin-America  we need to be prepare to confront this problem working hard in several areas like: Tobacco cessation, Lung cancer CT screening , availability of molecular markers and availability of new targeted therapies. For these and many other reasons the LALCA meetings are very important getting together the best oncologists in Latin-America (researchers and leaders) with the support of the IASLC. We looking forward to have another successful meeting in Lima-Peru this year.

International Chair
LALCA 2014

Live Webinar - Prognostic Signatures for Early Stage NSCLC
LIVE: July 17, 2014 at 8:00PM EDT
The IASLC Education Committee is pleased to announce a special Live Webinar presented by Drs. Raphael Bueno, MD and Edward S. Kim, MD. More

Advanced Radiation Therapy Live Webinar Series
May, July, 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


Best of WCLC 2013
The final Best of WCLC 2013 will be held In Chang Mai, Thailand on July 12-13. This is the final workshop in a series of 18 worldwide locations. We want to thank all organizers, staff and attendees who made this inaugural program such a great success.
July 12-13 2014 | Chang Mai, Thailand | View Details
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.



textbook cover
Buy the IASLC Textbook

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.


Meet the Investigator - Opinion on MET – Federico Cappuzzo, MD

Ospedale Civile di Livorno
Department of Medical Oncology

The transmembrane tyrosine kinase mesenchymal-epidermal transition (MET) receptor has recently been identified as novel promising target in several human malignancies including non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). MET deregulation, consisting in gene amplification, mutation or over-expression can result in aberrant MET axis activation leading to cancer cell migration, invasion, proliferation, metastatization and neo-angiogenesis. These data suggest that interfering with MET pathways could represent a potential anti-tumor strategy. 

While the role of MET mutations in NSCLC is not yet fully understood, retrospective studies showed that increased MET gene copy number is a negative prognostic factor. Preclinical data and recent clinical studies showed that MET amplification is predictive for response to anti-MET agents. In 2006, Smolen et al. showed that only gastric and lung cancer cell lines with high levels of MET amplification were sensitive to anti-MET strategies. In 2011, Tanizaki et al. showed that crizotinib, a drug approved for the treatment of ALK translocated NSCLC with strong anti-MET activity, induced apoptosis only in the two lung cancer cell lines with high levels of amplification. In addition, studies on lung cancer cell lines with acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs showed that MET is a driver only in a context of high levels of gene amplification. Overall, theres data clearly indicated that anti-MET agents are potentially effective only in the small fraction of NSCLC with MET amplification. Recent studies showed that MET amplification, defined as a ratio MET/centromere 2.2 is an event occurring in approximately 3-4% of NSCLC, mainly but not exclusively in adenocarcinoma and in current or former smokers. High levels of amplification (ratio ≥5) is a very rare event, occurring in <1% of NSCLC.During the last ASCO meeting, Camidge et al. reported the results of a small study with crizotinib in patients with MET amplification. Patients were classified in 3 different groups according to the levels of amplification (low amplified-ratio ≥1.8–≤2.2,intermediate amplification- ratio >2.2–<5.0, high amplified- ratio ≥5). Crizotinib activity was detected only in patients with intermediate or high levels of MET amplification, confirming that anti-MET strategies should be further investigated only in selected populations. The non optimal selection of patients is probably the reason for the failure of an important phase III study with onartuzumab, a monoclonal antibody against MET. The study, presented by Spigel at ASCO meeting, failed to demonstrate any benefit in terms of survival for NSCLC patients treated in second line with the combination of erlotinib and onartuzumab versus individuals treated with erlotinib alone. In such trial, patients were selected based on MET expression evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC), a method not optimal for detecting individuals potentially benefiting from MET inhibition. Another study presented at ASCO by Spanish investigators showed that a consistent proportion of patients with strong MET expression are not amplified, indicating that IHC is not the best method for patient selection and FISH testing is required for confirming presence of amplification in MET over expressing cases.


Based on available data we can today conclude that anti-MET agents are are potentially effective in a small proportion of NSCLC (3-4%) irrespective of histology and smoking exposure. Additional studies are urgently needed to define which agents are more effective (small molecules versus monoclonal antibodies) and to define the best cut-off of amplification discriminating sensitive versus resistant cases (ratio  ≥ 2.2 versus  ≥ 5). 




No long-term anxiety or distress associated with low-dose computed tomography screening
DENVER - Examination and review of several studies that evaluated patient-centered outcomes for individuals undergoing low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for lung cancer found that screening does not appear to significantly influence overall health-related quality of life or result in long-term changes in anxiety or distress, but that positive results in the short-term, do increase distress levels. Read More

Improved diagnostic performance of low-dose computed tomography screening
DENVER - Investigators of the COSMOS (Continuous Observation of SMOking Subjects) study show good compliance and patient survival outcomes using a 5-year low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening protocol in individuals at high-risk of developing lung cancer. This protocol had fewer patients requiring further diagnostic follow-up compared to other studies, including the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST), with a minimal number of incorrect diagnoses. Read 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.

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

- Non-IASLC Opportunities -

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

MEMBERS PLEASE Share with your patients:
Lung Cancer Action Summit: Tools for Change

September 18-21, 2014 • Pittsburgh, PA
Lodging & most meals provided.
Some travel scholarships available to cover transportation expenses.
The 7th Annual Lung Cancer Action Summit will feature three days of interactive training sessions led by grassroots advocacy experts. At this year’s Summit, you can learn how to work with Free to Breathe to:

    • Organize successful fundraising activities
• Educate your community about the disease and opportunities to get involved
• Raise money to further the lung cancer cause
• Craft your awareness message to inspire change
• Develop an action plan to achieve your advocacy goals
• And much more!

The Summit also includes an expert-guided tour of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s lung cancer research laboratories. Read More

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; Federico Cappuzzo, MD; Luis E. Raez MD FACP FCCP

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.