By Luis E. Raez, MD, FACP, FCCP
Posted: December 11, 2019
The 8th IASLC Latin American Conference in Lung Cancer (LALCA) was held in Mexico City, Mexico, from October 18 to 20, 2019. The LALCA is the main event of the IASLC Latin American Group (LATAM), which has close to 500 members in almost 20 countries. The 2019 LALCA was the largest one to date, with 900 registered attendees. The local chair of the meeting was Dr. Oscar Arrieta, and the Scientific Program was developed by myself, the current IASLC-LATAM chair. The most important presentations from the IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer, in Barcelona, were reviewed and discussed by the speakers during lectures, panels, and roundtables.
There were several preliminary programs the day before the meeting, called “IASLC Schools,” which were organized by Dr. Christian Rolfo to review the essentials in lung cancer care for pathologists, oncology residents, and nurses. An additional new feature was the patient advocacy event, which had more than 70 attendees. The patient advocacy event finished with a live “living room” session, sponsored by the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, which was broadcast by YouTube and Facebook live and viewed by more than 1,800 people. Here, the patients had a 2-hour opportunity to ask questions in Spanish to Dr. Arrieta, myself, and Dr. Clarissa Mathias about about lung cancer from diagnosis to therapy.
The IASLC President Dr. Tetsuya Mitsudomi as well as the President-Elect Dr. Heather Wakelee both served as faculty during the event. Dr. Wakelee organized a “Women in Thoracic Oncology” breakfast session, which was attended to its maximum capacity. This year, the LALCA 2019 awards were given to Drs. Marileila Varella-Garcia (Brazil), Nise Yamaguchi (Brazil), and Eduardo Richardet (Argentina)—all LATAM founders—to recognize their multiple contributions to the success of the IASLC-LATAM group.
The meeting had more than 80 speakers from all of the LATAM countries and the United States. The organizing committee—which also included Drs. Edgardo Santos, Marileila Varella-Garcia, Ignacio Wistuba, Feliciano Barron, and Lucia Zatarain Barrón—worked for almost 2 years on this meeting to make it a success. The nursing team that helped with this success was led by Dr. Enza Esposito Nguyen and Ms. Lavinia Dobrea, and Ms. Patricia Mondragon was in charge of the patient advocate session. The IASLC-LALCA meetings take place every 2 years, and the next one will be held in 2021 in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Dr. Raez is the chair of the IASLC Latin American Group, president of the Florida American Society of Clinical Oncology (FLASCO), and medical director of Memorial Cancer Institute at Memorial Health Care System.