Three lung cancer meetings this month: what to expect

This month will be your best bet to upskill on lung cancer with meetings aplenty featuring both local and international experts on everything from basic science insights and screening through to survivorship and palliative care.

The events kick off in Melbourne with the Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group (ALTG) hosting its Clinical Development Workshop and open Scientific Advisory Committee meeting on Wednesday, 19 February.

On the same day, the Australia and New Zealand Lung Cancer Nurses Forum (ANZ-LCNF) Nursing and Allied Health Workshop, the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Lung Interest Cooperative (FROLIC) Workshop, and a Lung Cancer Community Forum will all be taking place in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The meetings herald the start of the 8th biennial Australian Lung Cancer Conference (ALCC) which has the theme of 2020: A Time of Hope in Lung Cancer (19-21 February). 

ALCC committee member Associate Professor Gerry Hanna told the limbic that great hope was warranted given advances such as systemic therapies improving survival from months to years in some cases and highly targeted stereotactic radiotherapy now able to cure not just localised but sometimes metastatic disease where it had only spread to a few sites.  

The main ALCC program includes symposia on palliative care, the “Leaps & Bounds” in diagnostics and care, basic science, lung cancer screening, equity in clinical trials, the effects of exercise in lung cancer,  immunotherapy in NSCLC, borderline inoperable disease and mesothelioma. 

“The session on mesothelioma is looking at not only just the diagnosis and underlying science but how best to manage it in terms of surgery, chemotherapy, systemic therapy, radiation therapy and asking the very strategic question of how aggressive should we be in our treatment of that disease.”

Have we got enough evidence to say the treatments have benefits and if they have benefits how best do we use those and what do patients think are acceptable in terms of the risks of side effects associated with treatment?”

“Those are challenging questions and it is only when we come together as a multi-professional team, guided by patients who have had the disease, can we in some way try to address this properly,” Associate Professor Hanna said.

Invited guest speakers on the program include:

  • Professor Nir Peled (Israel) – redefining survival expectations in lung cancer
  • Dr Frederico Cappuzzo (Italy) – selecting the right treatment regimen in NSCLC
  • Dr Marina Garassino (Italy) – international perspectives on hope in lung cancer 
  • Professor Angela Tod (UK) – the power of the multidisciplinary approach in lung cancer.

But wait, there’s more …

Physicians and health professionals still craving more lung cancer news and networking can also back up the following week at the 2nd Western NSW Lung Cancer Symposium in Orange (Saturday, 29 February).

Co-chair Dr Rob Zielinski told the limbic the free event would be of interest to clinicians from both regional and metropolitan settings, patients and their advocates or carers

Under discussion would be some of the big challenges in lung cancer including the ongoing debate about vaping and e-cigarettes, lung cancer screening and how to manage stage 3 lung cancer.

“We are starting to see some really tremendous results in stage 4 settings and we’re making inroads into cure in stage 3,” he said.

  • Professor Matthew Bott (US) will present on the role of surgery and neoadjuvant immunotherapy in stage 3 lung cancer.
  • Professor David Baldwin (UK) will present on the management of pulmonary nodules and also shared decision-making regarding SABR versus surgery.


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