Pilar Garrido, MD, PhD Head of the Thoracic Tumor Section, Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain
Dear Colleagues, The annual European Lung Cancer Congress has become a global conference attracting experts in the field of lung cancer from all over the world. At this year’s conference, which took place in Geneva from 10th to 13th April, more than 120 speakers shared their knowledge with around 1,600 delegates from 75 countries. The comprehensive program that included a wide range of session types and the presentation of 210 abstracts aimed at conveying a broad view of the current knowledge ranging from screening and the very early disease to current and potential future treatment approaches for different types of thoracic tumors. Interdisciplinarity is called for in a setting where patient management requires a multitude of treatment strategies and thus the joint efforts of experts in various fields. This is mirrored by the variety of societies for thoracic oncology that contributed to the congress. The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) organized the conference in collaboration with the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO), the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS), and the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP). This publication summarizes a selection of abstracts presented at ELCC 2019 in the areas of targeted therapy and immunotherapy for both non–small-cell and small-cell tumors of the lung. New targets are gaining importance in view of the availability of efficacious therapies. Moreover, established targeted agents have been shown to improve outcomes in tumors with rare oncogene drivers to a clinically significant extent even in the pretreated setting. Updated results in ROS1-rearranged lung cancer demonstrate unprecedented survival rates that might announce the dawn of chronic disease courses as it has been observed for other types of cancer. Several analyses of studies investigating PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibition presented at the congress confirmed the clinical utility of immune checkpoint inhibitors particularly in patients without oncogene-addict tumors. Finally, two interviews with renowned experts will elaborate on markers that can increase the accuracy of lung cancer screening and will debate about the potential role of chemotherapy in the era of novel approaches that have changed the outlook for our patients so profoundly as to strike up a new age of lung cancer treatment.