October 2013

President Corner


 Dr. Peter Goldstraw, President, IASLC Board of Directors

I encourage all of you to attend the 15th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Sydney, Australia. Sydney is surely one of the most iconic cities of the world, and Australia is renowned for the welcome it gives to visitors. Our Local Organizing Committee, headed by Drs. Michael Boyer and Kwun Fong, have worked exceedingly hard to ensure a busy and stimulating scientific program in this wonderful Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre. Such a massive undertaking requires close collaboration with many parties, including the convention centre staff; our professional conference organizers, International Conference Services; the dedicated team in the IASLC office headed by Paul Bunn, MD; and the volunteers on the Board and in all our committees, especially the Education Committee, who assisted the Core Program Committee. Our thanks go to all of them.

You will notice many innovations in the program for this WCLC, the most notable being that an extensive scientific and educational program has been compressed into 3 very full days. We hope you prefer this full-on business approach, and if you want to visit this wonderful country, you can always add on some downtime after the meeting! We are also proud to announce the inauguration of our Global Mentorship Awardswhich allow young members from developing countries to spend time after the WCLC with specialist units around Australia.

Many important events will be held the first day of the conference. Our regular “Young Investigator” session includes a “First Time Attendee Session” to highlight conference events of particular value to new delegates. We also offer the “Inaugural “Cochrane Workshop” to provide information to those who want to learn more about performing Cochrane Reviews. To meet the needs of our rapidly increasing membership in China, a morning session is organized by the Chinese Alliance Against Lung Cancer, with simultaneous translation between English and Mandarin.

The core conference will kick off at 17:30 with “Progress in Lung Cancer: Celebrating 40 Years of IASLC and Research Progress,” which is followed by the Opening Plenary.  As part of this session,Dr Fred Hirsch will talk about the development of the IASLC over the past 40 years. We are also privileged to have the Honorable Nicola Roxon speaking at our Opening Plenary. She has done much to put Australia at the forefront of tobacco control.

This conference is only possible because of the support of our partners in Industry. Please support their symposia, visit the exhibition and experience Exhibit Showcase Sessionsthat we are trialing in the Exhibit Hall during the refreshment and lunch breaks.

To make the most of the conference, download the mobile app, which will give you access to the full program and all of the abstracts through your iPad, iPhone, Android or Blackberry device, as well as notify you of any last-minute conference changes.

See you in Sydney!! 


Paul Bunn

 Dr. Paul A. Bunn, Jr., CEO of the IASLC

I am pleased to announce that the IASLC Board of Directors has selected Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dr. Hirsch will take over my role as CEO following the World Conference on Lung Cancer in Sydney, October 27-30, 2013 where my term ends.

Dr. Hirsch is an outstanding choice for the Chief Executive Officer of the IASLC.  I was pleased to succeed Dr. Heine H. Hansen as CEO in 2003 and have been proud to serve the IASLC over the past 10 years as it matured into an important resource in .lung cancer and other thoracic cancers. Since Dr. Hirsch worked with both Drs. Hansen and myself and since he has served the IASLC well in many capacities, the IASLC will be well served by his selection as CEO.

Dr. Hirsch is a Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, Colorado, USA. His research interests include translational research, biomarkers and targeted therapies and early detection of lung cancer. Dr. Hirsch’s research has helped identify and validate prognostic markers for lung cancer outcomes and predictive markers for personalized lung cancer therapies. Dr. Hirsch is the principle investigator on an NCI SPECS grant to establish biomarkers for squamous cell lung cancer and chairs the translational research component of the SWOG lung cancer committee. He holds a medical degree and doctorate from the University of Copenhagen and a degree from the Copenhagen Business School. His specialty is medical oncology, but he is trained in pathology as well.

Dr. Hirsch has been an active member of the IASLC since 1977. He has served as Chair of the Pathology Committee, Chair of the Prevention and Early Detection Committee and is Associate Editor for the IASLC Journal: Journal of Thoracic Oncology. He has served on the Board of Directors for IASLC since 2005, and he currently serves as the Treasurer of IASLC. He was the editor of the IASLC newsletterfrom 2000-2013 when his term ended.  He received the Mary J. Matthews Award in 2007 for life-time achievements in pathology and translational research of thoracic malignancies. He is the Congress President for the 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer to be held in Denver, CO, USA in 20156.




The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) Board of Directors has selected Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dr. Hirsch will take over for the current CEO, Dr. Paul A. Bunn, Jr. MD following the World Conference on Lung Cancer in Sydney, October 27-30, 2013 where Dr. Bunn’s term ends. Read the full story on our News Feed.


November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. As you know, lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of both men and women. It kills more people than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney and melanoma cancers combined. Please do something to education your community about the important issue of lung cancer during November.  For those of you attending the World Conference on Lung Cancer in Sydney, the fireworks over the harbor Saturday evening are dedicated to lung cancer awareness. In addition, several of our Advocacy Partners have events - make sure to participate in some way in November!  

For the second time, the IASLC has awarded five organizations Advocacy Travel Awards. Awardees receive free conference registration, up to four nights’ accommodations, a free IASLC Membership and a cash award for 1,000 AUD. The 2013 Advocacy Travel Award Winners are:
Beth Ida Stern, President of the Lung Cancer Foundation of America
Melinda Kotzian, CEO of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
Robert Vojakovic, President of the Asbestos Disease Society of Australia
Merel Mountain, President of the Clifton F. Mountain Foundation 
Trinidad Donoso, a lung cancer survivor and advocate from Chile.
Congratulations to the winners! For more information on the winners, visit the News Feed

For those of you traveling to the WCLC in Sydney, please remember to visit the Australian Government's website about information on travel information and visas. 

The IASLC will kick of its 40th Anniversary Celebration in Sydney. Look in your delegate bags for the Progress in Lung Cancer booklet. Visit the Parkside Foyer and Parkside Promenade to see IASLC history and lung cancer milestones. And, visit the booth to watch videos, as IASLC experts tell the story of lung cancer over the past 40 years! Support for this project is from Lilly Oncology.

Also in Sydney, the IASLC will debut the IASLC Atlas of ALK Testing in Lung Cancer. It is designed to help pathologists, laboratory scientists, and practicing physicians better understand various methods of ALK testing and the interpretation of test results. The book will be given to all WCLC 2013 delegates thanks to support from Pfizer. 

The IASLC is taking applications for the Regional Organizing Committee for the 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer to be held in Toronto, Canada in Nov. 2018. A description of the ROC can be found on the Policies Page  and you can find an application here.

Update from the Education Committee

Chair: Primo N. Lara, Jr., MD (Professor, University of California Davis School of Medicine)

Chair-Elect: Suresh Ramalingam, MD (Professor, Emory University School of Medicine)

eDUCATIONThe Education Committee assesses the education programs of the IASLC and makes recommendations to advance the Association’s mission. Its responsibilities include the evaluation of proposed and ongoing educational activities, and the integration of the full range of the Association's educational programs within the comprehensive oversight that comprises the Committee's activities. The committee is engaged in the review of ongoing educational needs assessments, determination of learning objectives, design of educational programs, and finally, the evaluation of effectiveness of these programs. To this end, the committee has evolved rapidly in the past three years from simply reviewing educational event proposals to its direct and active involvement in content development, delivery, and outcomes evaluation. Multidisciplinary membership within the committee provides the necessary breadth and depth to create and review educational materials and to identify knowledge gaps.  The establishment of a Continuing Medical Education Subcommittee in 2012 as a component of the parent Education Committee and the accreditation of the IASLC as a CME-provider by the ACCME, has allowed for a more organized approach to the process of content delivery as well as outcomes evaluation. New efforts in promoting content generation have led to the creation of committee-led webinars (such as the Grand Rounds Webinar Series) and the development of the Advanced Radiation Technology Subcommittee. The current vision of the Education Committee is to transform IASLC-coordinated educational initiatives, including CME, from compliance to best-in-class. The major components of this vision (learner, content, delivery, and professional requirements) are shown in the accompanying figure.  Presently, the committee is deeply involved in the development of a Global Curricular Framework for thoracic cancer.  This curriculum is anticipated to serve as a foundation for “lifelong learning” culture in the IASLC . Ultimately, it is envisioned that every IASLC-sponsored educational event would be aligned with the overarching curriculum. This proposed curriculum will be used to plan and develop materials for workshops, webinars, and IASLC-sponsored live educational events. Also in development is a consolidated on-line education portal. This proposed “Thoracic Oncology Learning Center” will employ the Global Curriculum to populate its content and will provide centralized access to listings of live and distance learning activities, including performance improvement CME modules. In the future, online access toan  individual’s collective CME credits and certificates earned through IASLC-sponsored learning activities will be available from this portal. Other benefits of this effort include the expansion of offerings to include topics that are not commonly incorporated in typical live or webinar programs such as quality of care and survivorship. The Education Committee is clearly on a determined path to not only educate the global thoracic oncology community but to meaningfully impact on clinical care and enhance patient outcomes. 

Update from the Regents

Each month, we hope to feature messages from our Regents around the world. Here are three:  


Nick Pavlakis MBBS, MMed, PhD, FRACP, Associate Professor at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney University (Regent to Australasia) has the following message to members in advance of the WCLC2013 to be held in Sydney, Australia Oct. 27-30: “Dear IASLC Members, it is with great pleasure as IASLC Regent for Australasia, that I can have this opportunity to welcome you to the forthcoming WCLC meeting in my home town in Sydney. It is a great privilege and opportunity for Australia to host this meeting, which will provide a great forum for exchange of the latest scientific research on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, mesothelioma and other thoracic malignancies. I sincerely hope you will attend, to interact with your international colleagues and to enjoy our hospitality. I hope that from this meeting many new and ongoing research relationships and professional friendships can be forged.” To learn more visit Regent Nick Pavlakis profile.   

OstorosGyula Ostoros: Dr. Ostoros has been appointed as the IASLC Regent to Central Europe, including the following countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia. Dr. Ostoros is a Pulmonologist in Budapest, Hungary. A member of IASLC for more than 16 years, Dr. Ostoros is a strong advocate for the benefits of IASLC membership in this region. “I believe the beneficial aspects of membership in IASLC include meetings, workshops in different regions all over the world; the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, with specific issues giving updates information about thoracic malignancies; fellowship, support of young doctors; and the possibility for communication face to face or via the internet.” Dr. Ostoros’ work includes an investigator initiated “MOTIVATE” trial to investigate the efficacy of erlotinib treatment in KRAS wild type adenocarcinoma patients who suffered from advanced lung cancer.

Dr. Ostoros has the following message to members and potential members of IASLC: A Közép Európai régióban a tüdőrák rendkívüli problémát jelent. Igen magas az előfordulási aránya, melynek oka nem csak a dohányzási szokásokban, hanem az életmódban, a stresszel teli életvitelben, az életszínvonalbeli különbségekben is rejlik. Igen fontos felmérni a tüdőrákkal kapcsolatos közös problémákat mind a betegség primer és szekunder prevenciója, mind pedig a diagnosztika, illetőleg a terápiás lehetőségek vonatkozásában is.

More information about his ongoing work and to contact Dr. Ostoros, please visit his profile.

WuDr. Yi-Long Wu, Professor, Guangdon Lung Cancer Institute (Past Regent to China, IASLC Board Member-Elect): Dr. Wu has been an IASLC member for more than 15 years and served as Regent from 2011-2013. He will soon begin his 4-year term as an IASLC Board Member in October 2013 at the World Conference on Lung Cancer 2013. With significant growth in China, he has the following message for IASLC members in this region. “This year IASLC members from China increased from 228 to 553. This 143% increased rate is number one in global IASLC membership. We will encourage more physicians to join IASLC. The first IASLC grant for Chinese doctors was set up and one doctor has been sent to training in US. The Best of WCLC will be held in Guangzhou, China on Nov. 30, 2013. More 800 doctors will participate this exciting meeting.” For more information on the Best of WCLC, please visit our Events Page  or click on his profile to learn more about Dr. Wu.

The Regents listed here, and most of the IASLC Council of Regents will be in attendance at the WCLC 2013 in Sydney. Please feel free to engage the Regent in your area for more information. To contact the Regent in your Region, please visit the Regents page. 




In Memoriam, Prof. Alain Depierre, MD (1941-2013)

Alain Depierre passed away in Besançon, France, on August 14, 2013, at the age of 72 years, after 10 years of hard-fought battle against cancer. He was a member of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer for more than 30 years, as a leading expert in the field of thoracic oncology, and was for several generations of French thoracic oncologists, a true mentor.

Dr. Depierre received his medical degree in Paris, where he held his first positions at several University hospitals (AP-HP), in early 70s, under the guidance of his mentor, Pr. Lucien Israël. In 1978, he became Professor of Pulmonology at the University of Franche Comté, Besançon. During his time there, he created a new thoracic oncology department and organized multidisciplinary care for lung cancer patients. Throughout his professional life, he was committed to developing clinical research, convinced of the importance of evidence-based medicine, combining extreme rigor and an outstanding sense of innovation. From his first participation with the EORTC lung cancer group, he went on to become one of the founders of the IFCT (Intergroupe Francophone de Cancérologie Thoracique), which gathered eleven French groups in 1999. IFCT is now a large internationally recognized cooperative intergroup, encompassing over 200 French centers, which contributed to the IASLC lung cancer staging project, and 450 French investigators, involved in clinical and translational research in thoracic oncology.

Alain Depierre conducted many Phase I to III studies in lung cancer, and published around 170 peer-reviewed papers on the topic, with particular focus on vinorelbine from early development to registration. He designed the first large randomized trial of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in the early nineties, and further investigated the concept of perioperative chemotherapy in another large Phase III trial that included many translational analyses, the IFCT 0002 study, in which he took on the role of principal investigator. Finally, Alain Depierre supported his disciple, Virginie Westeel, to set up a large randomized IFCT-sponsored trial, comparing two follow-up strategies in completely resected non-small cell lung cancer, which has just reached its ambitious accrual goal of 1,800 patients, with final results expected in 2016.

In 2005, he retired from his position at the Chest Disease and Thoracic Oncology Department of Besançon University Hospital to pursue his lifelong commitment to clinical research, being Director of the Clinical Research and Innovation Department until 2009. Throughout his remaining years he continued to actively participate, freely offering his expertise to the Regional Observatory of Health and generously contributing to the IFCT as Medical Director.
Enthusiastic and charismatic, he instilled his passion for thoracic oncology in many students, residents, and colleagues, infecting others with his scientific curiosity, teaching methodological rigor, always with simplicity, kindness, and a great deal of humanity. He will be greatly missed, not only by his family and friends, but also by the thoracic oncology community as a whole.

Prof. Elisabeth QUOIX, IFCT past president, CHRU Strasbourg, France
Prof. Virginie WESTEEL, member of the IFCT executive board, CHU Besançon, France

Dr. Raymond Osarogiagbon Award

IASLC Membership Committee member, Dr. Raymond Osarogiagbon, director of the Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program at the Baptist Cancer Center in Memphis, TN was awarded a $2.1M grant over 3 years to perform a prospective comparative effectiveness study of the quality, outcomes, and patient perception of care provided within and outside a structured multidisciplinary care environment. This study, titled ‘Building a Multidisciplinary Bridge Across the Quality Chasm in Thoracic Oncology’ will use a scientifically rigorous, mixed-methods approach to study aspects of multidisciplinary care ranging from qualitative, multi-stakeholder focus group-based evaluation of barriers to multidisciplinary care, to a prospective matched cohort study of patients receiving care within and outside the multidisciplinary environment. The award was part of cycle III of PCORI’s ‘Improving Healthcare Systems’ funding opportunity announcement. A link to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) website showing the new award information and description is provided below: