At the beginning of the month, CCSA Senior Scientist Dr. Beverly Smolich attended the Lung Cancer Translational Science-From the Bench to the Clinic Conference. Below, Dr. Smolich summarizes and gives us highlights from the conference.
The conference covered all aspects of lung cancer research, from preclinical animal models to treating patients with the newest targeted agents and immunotherapy drugs. Sessions covered small cell lung cancer, drug resistance, animal models, radiation oncology, stem cells, diagnostics and biomarkers, early detection, immunotherapy and novel targets. There was also an interesting session on how advocacy is driving science.
News & Tidbits
Several speakers mentioned combination therapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors and chemotherapy or molecularly targeted therapies as the next wave in new treatments for lung cancer (and cancer in general). There is some promising early clinical data with combinations, and larger phase 2 or 3 trials are underway.
Dr. Alice Shaw from Massachusetts General Hospital gave a talk on the evolution of resistance in ALK+ lung cancer. She chronicled the treatment of a patient initially given crizotinib for an ALK+ lung tumor, who then developed resistance as most patients do. The patient was then given a 2nd and subsequently a 3rd generation ALK inhibitor. The patient’s tumor was sequenced each time they progressed, and that information was used to catalog the resistant mutations that develop to each drug. This helps to inform physicians as to which drugs they can try when their patients’ progress, and also aids drug companies as they try to develop new drugs that will be active on the resistant mutations.
Learn more about the conference here.