17th Annual International Lung Cancer Congress

17th Annual International Lung Cancer Congress

What a conference! Just returned from the 17th Annual International Lung Cancer Congress held last week in Huntington Beach, CA. Special thank you to the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF), sponsor of the keynote lecture, the 2016 leading researcher Lectureship award was presented to Dr. Giorgio Vittorio Scagliotti. The ALCF co-sponsored the Lung Cancer Congress along with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

Discussions at the beginning of the conference focused on the progression of the lung cancer patient’s journey. Including in the presentations were the recommendations of Low Dose CT screening, diagnostic testing, surgery, radiation therapy (including stereotactic radiation therapy), and chemotherapy. Two areas that were emphasized were liquid biopsy and immune-oncology.

Liquid biopsy is a specialized blood test which can help detect oncology biomarkers and plasma genotyping. It is currently being tested and utilized in cancer patients. This is helpful when advanced stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer could have an actionable oncogene that can be targeted. This is needed when addressing changes in tumor biology and progression. The test can also play a role in determining mechanisms resistance to therapy.

My biggest takeaway is immunotherapy development within oncology. Immunotherapy utilizes your own body to fight cancer. T-Cell immune checkpoints can be targets for immunotherapy. T Cells stimulation can be either an inhibitor pathway (blocking antibodies) or an activator pathway (agonistic antibodies-boost the immune system). Radiation Therapy can augment the immune response as well. Many clinical trials are underway studying the impact of immune-oncology.