#LCSM Chat Topic 10/18/2018: Lung Cancer Screening: Never a Better Time Than Now

IMG_6380After last month’s World Conference on Lung Cancer (#WCLC2018) meeting in Toronto, lung cancer screening finds itself back in the spotlight. At #WCLC2018, which was hosted by @IASLC, investigators reported the long-awaited results of the NELSON trial, a study of computed tomography (CT) lung cancer screening performed in Europe.

Although it had been speculated that NELSON might show no benefit to screening for lung cancer with low dose CT scans, the results were instead strongly positive. Overall, compared to standard care, CT screening reduced lung cancer mortality by about 26% in men and by 39-61% in women after 8-10 years of follow-up. Assuming that these compelling results hold up in a peer-reviewed publication, NELSON will add more data to what has already been reported by the NLST investigators conclusively demonstrating that CT screening for lung cancer saves lives. Arguably, this data for mortality reduction with lung cancer screening is stronger than data for any other cancer type, including breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Nevertheless (and although CT screening is already approved by CMS in the United States), it has been estimated that less than 10% of eligible patients are actually being screened. This is markedly less than the percentage of eligible patients screened for other common cancers. The challenge therefore now falls on hospital systems, physicians, and lung cancer advocates to increase the rates of screening throughout the world. Patient’s lives depend upon it. With that in mind, the #LCSM chat moderators believe that now is the perfect time to readdress lung cancer screening.

Please join moderator Brendon Stiles, MD on Thursday, October 18th at 8PM ET for this important discussion. We will cover the following topics:

T1. What is important about the NELSON trial findings?

T2. Who should be screened for lung cancer and how can a patient find a screening center?

T3. How can we increase screening rates of eligible patients?

T4. Are there harms to lung cancer screening? How can harms be avoided?

T5. What happens if a nodule is found during a lung cancer screening test?

If you’re new to tweetchats, please read this primer, and join the conversation!

#LCSM Chat Topic 10/04/2018: Highlights from #WCLC2018

After a summer hiatus, #LCSM Chat is returning to Twitter!  Our first chat of the fall will be on Thursday, October 04, at 5pm Pacific Time (8 pm Eastern).  We will be reviewing key presentations from the IASLC 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer (#WCLC2018) held September 23-26 in Toronto, Canada.  Our special guests for this chat will be the Communications Team from the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), the organizers of WCLC, and our moderator will be Janet Freeman-Daily (@JFreemanDaily).

WCLC abstracts may be oral presentations (20 min), mini-oral presentations (10 min), or poster presentations, and their topics are grouped into several categories:

  • Advanced NSCLC
  • Advocacy
  • Biology
  • Immunooncology
  • Interventional Diagnostics/Pulmonology
  • Mesothelioma
  • Nursing and Allied Professionals
  • Oligometastatic NSCLC
  • Pathology
  • Screening and Early Detection
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer/NET
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Thymoma/Other Thoracic Malignancies
  • Treatment in the Real World – Support, Survivorship, Systems Research
  • Treatment of Early Stage/Localized Disease
  • Treatment of Locoregional Disease – NSCLC

Please remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. If you need a refresher, read our primer on participating in the chat . Note that some tweetchat apps (like tchat.io) will not display tweets longer than 140 characters. Hope you’ll join us!

#LCSM Chat topic 6/14/2018: Immunotherapy–the ultimate personalized therapy

Immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer care, particularly for lung cancer patients.  On Thursday, June 14, 2018, at 8 PM Eastern time (5 PM Pacific), #LCSM Chat moderator Brendon Stiles () will lead our discussion on “Immunotherapy–the ultimate personalized therapy.”

Over the last few years, several “checkpoint inhibitors” have been approved by the FDA for lung cancer patients.  Because these drugs essentially unleash brakes on T cells which allow each patient’s own immune system to kill their cancer cells, these drugs could be considered the ultimate personalized therapy for cancer.  In fact, these drugs are now a part of first line therapy for almost all stage IV lung cancer patients without targetable mutations and are rapidly moving into earlier stages as well.

Many of these drugs have less side effects than standard chemotherapy and are better tolerated by patients. Early trials have suggested a “plateau in the survival curves” generating hope that these drugs may actually cure some patients rather than just pushing back their inevitable deaths.  Of course, with any new drugs, it is sometimes difficult to separate the hype from the hope.  In general, only about 20-30% of patients respond to immunotherapy drugs.  Although the amount of PD-L1 in tumors and “tumor mutation burden” have been shown to predict response to checkpoint inhibitors, it still remains difficult to accurately predict which patients will most benefit from immunotherapy.

In this chat, we will discuss the basics of immunotherapy, where immunotherapy fits into the current standards of treatment for lung cancer, and special concerns related to the use of these drugs.

With these thoughts in mind, this chat will cover the following topics:

  • T1.  How does immunotherapy work and what are the side effects?
  • T2.  Which patients should be considered for immunotherapy and are the drugs different?
  • T3.  Is there a role for immunotherapy in patients with activating mutations (EGFR, ALK, ROS1)?
  • T4.  Is there a role for immunotherapy in patients with stage I-III lung cancer?
  • T5.  What do patients want to know about immunotherapy?

Please remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. If you need a refresher, read our primer on participating in the chat . Note that some tweetchat apps (like tchat.io) will not display tweets longer than 140 characters. Hope you’ll join us!

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