Last year’s progress in preventing, diagnosing and treating all forms of lung cancer, including mesothelioma, is summarized in the second annual edition of the report, “Scientific Advances in Thoracic Oncology.” published by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).
The article is available online now, and will also appear in the August 2017 issue of the IASLC’s Journal of Thoracic Oncology. It covers four major categories: prevention and early detection; pathology and staging; therapy (including surgery, radiotherapy and immunotherapy, among others); and specific future perspectives.
The categories result from analyzing the work of more than 40 multidisciplinary experts specializing in different areas of lung cancer research and management.
“The last year led to significant progress for new therapies for lung cancer based on genomic characterization of patients’ tumors and further clinical developments of immunotherapies,” experts wrote, though they noted a huge unmet need to identify new therapeutic targets. Because of primary and acquired resistance, it is clear that no single therapy offers a cure for everyone with lung cancer.
“Regarding ‘other thoracic malignancies,’ such as mesothelioma and thymoma, lessons learned in lung cancer are now increasingly being applied toward advancing our knowledge about biology, epidemiology, diagnosis and therapy,” they wrote. “Although the future appears to be bright for patients with lung cancer and research, much work remains to be done.”
Sources include the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer and the European Society for Medical Oncology, among other published and unpublished literature. The summaries aim to update readers on the most influential and relevant developments achieved in 2016.
“The pace of scientific advances in lung cancer is extremely rapid,” Dr. Fred R. Hirsch, corresponding author of the report and chief executive of the IASLC, said in a press release. “The IASLC is uniquely poised to capture that progress and to help synthesize and disseminate critical information around the world.”
Editors Ross Soo of Singapore and Dr. David Spigel of the Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville, Tennessee, wrote that this is a “very exciting time” in the field of thoracic malignancies.
“In the past year, we have witnessed tremendous breakthroughs and advances in prevention and early detection, molecular diagnostics, pathology, staging, surgery, adjuvant therapy, radiotherapy, molecular targeted therapy and immunotherapy/ Important progress has been made in small cell lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma, all of which are included in this manuscript,” they wrote. “With more novel treatment options available, this manuscript reviews the quality and value of such therapy, and offers a perspective on emerging trends and future directions in lung cancer research and treatment.”
The 42-page report by the IASLC, which is based in Aurora, Colorado, also includes the latest research on cigarettes, e-cigarettes and marijuana use, as well as screening for lung cancer.