The optimization of histological classification and genomic characterization of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), and the implementation of liquid biopsy in molecular assessment and monitoring during treatment, are strictly related to the development of new drugs achieving outcome improvement especially in the metastatic disease. Innovative drugs as tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting oncogene-addicted tumors and, more recently, PD1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitors have been quickly translated in the clinical practice, changing the diagnostic-therapeutic algorithm of NSCLC patients. Immune checkpoint inhibitors have been also investigated in locally advanced NSCLC, or in other thoracic cancers such as Small Cell Lung Cancer and Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. The evolving landscape of the diagnostic and therapeutic pathways in thoracic oncology raised some burning issues.
The importance of an optimal multidisciplinary management will be highlightened during the conference, including but not limited to a central role of thoracic surgeon and pneumologist for adequate tumor samples collection, the interaction with the pathologist and the molecular oncologist for genomic assays optimization and prioritization, and the increasing role of radiation oncologist in treatment planning of oligoprogression to new anticancer drugs and of locally advanced NSCLC where immunotherapy recently found its place in the consolidation setting.
Another critical issue emerging with the advent of innovative oncology drugs is the need of real-life studies which are an essential element of evidence-based medicine, allowing informed decision-making around the effectiveness and safety of therapies. They can provide information on patients and situations that may be challenging to assess using only data from randomized controlled trials, e.g. treatment adherence and persistence, treatment patterns, guideline adherence, challenging-to-treat populations, drug safety, risk stratification, comparative effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness.
The role of lung units and oncology networks in research promotion, definition of diagnostic-therapeutic pathways and drug recommendations in order to minimize heterogenous affordability, availability and prescriptive appropriateness, will be also discussed during the meeting.