New Guidelines, Therapies in Spotlight at PER Congress

Posted by Samantha Powell on June 18th, 2013 |

Published Online: Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Discussions about new guidelines on molecular testing in patients with lung cancer and a keynote address from prominent researcher Tony S. Mok, MD, will be among the highlights of the upcoming 14th International Lung Cancer Congress. The meeting, hosted by Physicians’ Education Resource (PER), is scheduled to take place July 25-27 at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach, California.

Attendees with an interest in lung cancer ⎯regardless of their specialty⎯”will gain first-hand information from thought leaders about the latest advances, and they will do it in a very interactive and intimate setting,” noted David R. Gandara, MD, director of the Thoracic Oncology Program and associate director of Clinical Research at the University of California Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center in Sacramento.

Gandara is serving as program director of the congress, along with Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, chief of Medical Oncology at the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Yale Medical Center in Connecticut.

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation are cosponsors of the meeting.

This year, one of the topics of discussion will be guidelines issued by the IASLC, the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) on molecular testing for EGFR and ALK gene mutations, including standards for the tests and optimal use of therapies directed against those abnormalities. Draft guidelines were discussed in a preliminary fashion at last year’s meeting, and this year’s attendees can discuss the final recommendations, Gandara said. Mok, president-elect of the IASLC and a professor in the Department of Clinical Oncology at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Chinese University of Hong Kong, is the recipient of the 2013 lectureship award that the Addario foundation supports. His presentation on the management of lung cancer is scheduled for Friday, July 26.

Gandara said Mok is renowned for his research into genomic abnormalities between different populations of patients with non-small lung cancer (NSCLC), such as those of East Asian ancestry versus those of Caucasian lineage, an understanding of which could lead to more individualized treatment. Mok, who has helped author more than 100 journal articles, has researched numerous targeted therapies for NSCLC.

In all, the congress will feature presentations from more than two dozen speakers, including these leading researchers:

• Alex Adjei, MD, PhD, Roswell Park Cancer Center

• Paul Bunn Jr, MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine

• Primo Lara Jr, MD, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

• Corey Langer, MD, Abramson Cancer Center

• Rogerio Lilenbaum, MD, Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven

• Tetsuya Mitsudomi, MD, Aichi Cancer Center Hospital

• Christian Manegold, MD, Heidelberg University

• Stephen Swisher, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Gandara said the timing of the conference is especially advantageous because it falls only a few weeks after the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in June. The congress will likely provide attendees with their first opportunity to discuss the meaning of that data in a public forum.

“It’s a think tank atmosphere where participants are engaged together with key opinion leaders in every session,” Gandara said. “It’s really an opportunity to have your knowledge on lung cancer brought up to date with opinion leaders from around the world.”


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