Fred R. Hirsch

Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, FASCO

Center for Thoracic Oncology, Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

Dear Colleagues,

The European Lung Cancer Congress (ELCC) that took place virtually on 30th March – 2nd April 2022 effectively disseminated the latest advances in lung and thoracic malignancies and gave 131 speakers from all around the world the chance to present promising new research avenues as well as the opportunity for discussions and new perspectives. By clearly highlighting the importance of a multidisciplinary team in the management of patients with lung cancer, this congress once more enabled to advance science, spread education, and improve the practice of lung cancer specialists worldwide.

This issue of memo inOncology looks closely at upcoming and established immunotherapy standards as novel adjuvant strategies are needed to optimize outcomes after complete surgical resection in patients with early-stage non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Data presented at ELCC support the use of atezolizumab in PD-L1–expressing NSCLC, underscore pembrolizumab as standard-of-care therapy for patients with metastatic NSCLC without targetable EGFR or ALK aberrations, highlight camrelizumab plus carboplatin/paclitaxel as a standard first-line option for patients with advanced squamous NSCLC, and show that tislelizumab plus chemotherapy has a tolerable safety profile in this patient group.

Moreover, the potential of targeted therapies in oncogene-driven lung cancer including EGFR, METex14-, ROS1– and RET-mutated tumors is illustrated, with several first-line strategies emerging for patients harboring these mutations. Promising candidates included in this report are osimertinib, furmonertinib, oritinib, savolitinib, unecritinib and selpercatinib, all of which are currently investigated in phase I/II-III studies.

Last but not least, prognostic determinants and new treatment modalities including the combination of an anti-PD-L1 antibody and a CTLA-4 inhibitor or thoracic consolidative radiotherapy during immunotherapy in the setting of extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer are presented while also shedding light on dual targeting with anti-TIGIT and anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies in untreated limited-stage SCLC.

Although we all hope to meet again in person at future conferences to hear about breakthroughs that will further advance daily clinical practice, it requires dedicated meetings like ELCC that even enabled discussions of clinical cases in interactive sessions to move the field even further in such a way as to not only provide the optimal management of patients with thoracic malignancies but also to use personalized strategies to ensure even better care for patients.