WCLC Plenary Symposia to Include Practice-Changing Research Presentations

The 2019 WCLC offers valuable multidisciplinary content for thoracic oncology specialists and supportive care providers of all backgrounds and career levels.

The conference’s program is stacked with science and education for scientists, clinicians, and advocates alike.

By Leah K. Lawrence

Posted: August 2018

The IASLC 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC), the world’s largest meeting dedicated to lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, will take place this year from September 23 to 26 in Toronto, Canada.

With more than 7,000 delegates coming from more than 100 countries, this year’s meeting is sure to include incredible science, education, and networking opportunities, according to Natasha B. Leighl, BSc, MSc, MD, a medical oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and IASLC WCLC 2018 co-president.

“The WCLC is a unique chance for lung cancer experts around the world and across disciplines to get together to take action against lung cancer,” Dr. Leighl told the IASLC Lung Cancer News.

This year’s WCLC program was designed to include a number of multidisciplinary sessions, so attendees should examine speakers and individual presentation titles when planning their meeting agendas, according to Andrea Bezjak, MDCM, FRCPC, MSc, of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and IASLC WCLC 2018 co-president.

“The whole program, from beginning to end, has a lot to offer attendees from various backgrounds,” Dr. Bezjak said. “Whether an individual is a clinician, a scientist, a nurse, or an advocate, and whether an individual is new to lung cancer or very experienced, they should look at the program and plan to attend from the pre-symposium through the opening reception all the way to the closing plenary.”

Highlighting Plenary Symposia

The meeting’s pre-symposium sessions kick off the morning of Sunday, September 23, and include the Young Investigator Session and several industry symposia. Sunday evening, attendees can enjoy the IASLC Foundation Concert at 5:45 PM (EDT) and then gather with colleagues at the Opening Ceremony at 7:30 PM (EDT). The Welcome Reception and opening of the Exhibit Hall follows immediately thereafter, at 8:30 PM (EDT).

The bulk of the scientific presentations will begin Monday morning, September 24. Dr. Bezjak will join Paul A. Bunn, Jr., MD, of University of Colorado School of Medicine, in co-moderating Monday’s Plenary Session, “Patients First,” starting at 8:15 AM (EDT).

The Plenary Session will open with a presentation by Lucy Kalanithi, MD, a Stanford physician whose husband, Paul Kalanithi, MD, died after a diagnosis with stage IV lung cancer. Dr. Paul Kalanithi authored the memoir When Breath Becomes Air, detailing his experience.

The session will also include presentations from many leaders in the field including David Carbone, MD, PhD, of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Tony S. Mok, MD, FRCP, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Solange Peters, MD, PhD, of the University of Lausanne, as well as from the IASLC President Giorgio Vittorio Scagliotti, MD, PhD, who will discuss current science and clinical trials that are critical to finding a cure for patients with lung cancer.

Tuesday’s Presidential Symposium begins at 8:15 AM (EDT) and will include the presentation of the conference’s top four abstracts.

Dr. Solange Peters speaking about global immunotherapy research at the 2017 WCLC.

“This symposium will include data from some of the top trials and will include results that will be practice-changing,” Dr. Leighl said.

Drs. Leighl and Bezjak also highlighted the importance of Wednesday’s two Plenary Sessions. The first Plenary Session will begin at 8:15 AM (EDT) and will include speakers who will call members to action and discuss some of the challenges ahead in the field of lung cancer research and treatment.

The second Plenary begins at 3:15 PM (EDT) and will include an international and multidisciplinary panel of speakers who will summarize key messages from the conference.

“We will hear from the world experts on what they feel were the most important things that they heard about at the conference and their opinions of what the future holds,” Dr. Leighl said.

Join and Attend

It is an exciting time to be a part of lung cancer research, according to Dr. Leighl. There has never been so much progress and collaboration, she said. “The IASLC is a great organization, and it brings people together who are passionate about the treatment and science of lung cancer around the world,” Dr. Leighl said.

Members of IASLC get a discount on attending the WCLC, an experience that is unmatched for people working toward the eradication of lung cancer.

“WCLC is an exciting chance for people who are passionate about lung cancer research to come together and collaborate,” Dr. Leighl said. ✦