On 28th and 29th June, 2018, a Lung Cancer International Preceptorship directed towards medical oncologists took place in Shanghai, China. The scientific provider was the Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital affiliated to the local Tongji University. In the course of these two days, lectures and workshops were held with the aim of improving the participants’ knowledge about lung cancer management in China and internationally. Most of the 24 delegates attending the Preceptorship are working at Chinese hospitals. The range of topics covered screening, diagnostics and pathology of lung malignancies as well as various types of treatment. A tour of the Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital concluded the meeting.
Lung cancer is a major issue in China, as incidence and mortality of this disease are still increasing due to several risk factors such as serious air pollution caused by industrial and traffic fumes as well as smoking. Two thirds of males and 15 % of females are smokers. Moreover, the Chinese society is ageing, which explains in part the rising incidence of lung cancer. Given these factors and the enormous population of our country, China accounts for one third of the world’s new lung cancer cases.
Controlling this disease poses huge challenges that need to be addressed at several levels including screening, diagnosis and treatment. In this special issue of memo inOncology, we have summarized the lectures given on treatment with immunotherapy and EGFR-/ALK-targeted agents. In both areas, huge progress has been made over the last years that has provided unprecedented outcomes in the face of this devastating disease. With immunotherapy in particular, some patients can hope to experience clinical cure, although EGFR- and ALK-targeted therapies also work wonders in responding patients. There is still a long way to go to defeat lung cancer, but research has just begun for all of these agents, and we can expect many more practice-changing data in the years to come.
Caicun Zhou, MD, PhD,
Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital,
Director of the Cancer Institute of Tongji University,