This week, the GO2 Foundation team attended IASLC’s 20th Annual World Conference on Lung Cancer in Barcelona. Our team presented on hot topics in the field alongside top clinicians, researchers, and scientists from over 100 countries. We sat down with Jennifer C. King, PhD, Senior Director of Science & Research, to learn about some of the key takeaways and how they impact you.

Early Detection

There were multiple presentations on lung cancer screening and how to improve early detection of lung cancer. In one study, the researchers used a risk prediction model that includes other factors besides smoking history and age (such as family history and race/ethnicity) to decide who received lung cancer screening. Following the model, more lung cancers were detected than following the current guidelines in the United States. Two other trials suggested that there may be biomarkers that can help predict who should be screened and how often. All of these studies together help move the science towards detecting more lung cancers an earlier, more treatable stage.

Treatment

There were a number of new treatment advances presented for different types of lung cancer patients that will change medical practice. Some new treatment developments included:

  • A new drug, selpercatinib, that showed excellent results for non-small cell lung cancers that are positive for a change in the RET gene. This data will be reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration and we expect to see the drug approved in 2020. GO2 Foundation highly recommends biomarker testing to identify changes in your cancer that could make you eligible for this or similar new therapies.
  • A new immunotherapy, Imfinzi (durvalumab), for small cell patients, was shown to extend life when taken together with traditional chemotherapy as your initial treatment.
  • A trial that showed the clear benefits of having a lobectomy by minimally invasive surgery (called VATS) instead of open chest surgery (thoracotomy). Patients who had the VATS lobectomy had less pain, less in-hospital complications, and shorter hospital stays with the same surgical outcomes and no serious side effects. We encourage you to talk to your surgeon about VATS if having a lobectomy.

In summary, this year’s World Conference on Lung Cancer highlighted developments in the field across the continuum—from early detection and the importance of developing more comprehensive guidelines, to advancements in personalized treatment for the disease in its many forms.

For help navigating treatment and trial options, contact our LungMATCH specialists at 1-800-298-2436 or email support@go2foundation.org.