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Audio Journal of Oncology, Monday 3 June, 2013




The Audio Journal of Oncology with Oncology Times and MDFM: Cancer news from around the world with Peter Goodwin.

P1 Biomarkers: new drug targets in adenocarcinoma of the lung


Hello. And with me is Sarah Maxwell. In this special edition we’re reporting from the European Multidisciplinary Conference in Thoracic Oncology just held in Lugano, Switzerland:

Ken O’Byrne

People just need to think about where we were with leukaemia and lymphoma 50 years ago as our knowledge of the biology began to expand and our ability to deliver good treatments expanded then those patients became cured. And I think in lung cancer we’re going to see the same evolution we’re going to see a steady progression in our ability to deliver effective treatments that will lengthen life, improve symptom control and quality of life. 


The words of Professor Ken O’Byrne from St James’s Hospital and Trinity College, Dublin, explaining how new understanding of the molecular nature of lung cancer promises big steps forward.  


P2 Emerging targetable biomarkers for squamous cell carcinoma


Yes, Professor O’ Byrne mentioned potentially “drug-able” targets for adenocarcinoma, like the MEK/k-RAS and B-RAF/MET pathways: and also Heat Shock Protein. And Dr Martin Edelman said that the new molecular science has also found targets for squamous cell cancer:  

Martin Edelman:

Targetable mutations have included things like FGFR, and, [articularly of interest, DDR2 which various tyrosine kinase inhibitors including some that already exist such as dasatinib could in fact target this and then it appears that some of the emerging immuno therapeutics, particularly the anti PDL1 antibodies demonstrated activity in non small cell in general and but seem to particularly be active in squamous carcinoma  


Martin Edelman from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.


Biomarkers have been center stage at this conference, but also: better diagnosis, immunology and surgery all reported progress.


P3 Centrally located tumors: control vs. toxicity


A meta-analysis of tailored radiotherapy with SABR: Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy reported 85 per cent ‘durable local control’ rates  achieved by reducing the dose to normal organs while irradiating tumor tissues:

Suresh Senan

The chances of serious damage was less than 9 per cent making it an attractive option for unfit patients who may not be able to come for many visits 


Suresh Senan from The Netherlands who told us SABR’s good for centrally located tumors in these difficult-to-treat patients who’ve run out of options:

Suresh Senan

If the patient is unfit for the standard therapies, which are surgery or chemo-radiotherapy, because of a central tumor, then central SABR becomes a treatment option. So we know now that it is safe if you limit the normal tissue doses and that was the main conclusion of this systematic review 


Dr Suresh Senan, from VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam.


P4 Tailored chemo-radiotherapy: maximize effect; minimize tissue damage


And his countryman Dirk De Ruysscher told the conference how individualizing chemo-radiotherapy can also bring benefits, also by increasing the dose to the tumor cells.  Even though the treatment is harsh you can get very good outcomes:

Dirk De Ruysscher 

You can indeed increase your five year survival in a tolerable way and what is also important to remember is patients who get this treatment and are cured are, later on, really good. So really they can do their job again, they can enjoy living and so on 


Dirk De Ruysscher from Maastricht University Medical Centre



And if you combine individualised therapy with refined diagnosis, you can avoid over-treatment.

P5 PET-CT guidance for treating nodules


The power of PET-CT for doing his  was reported by Barbara Malene Fischer from Copenhagen University. She says it “picks up the baton” after standard CT has run the first lap — and when you’re faced with suspicious nodules, many of which aren’t really cancer but are too numerous for biopsy!

Barbara Malene Fischer

So we can’t do a biopsy in all of these patients a biopsy has some limitations and could be potentially dangerous. So we need a second step test to find out which patients will benefit from biopsy and which patients would be better left along or should go directly to surgery. And that’s where PET comes in 


P6 Immune therapies restore tissue immunity to fight cancer


You’re listening to the Audio Journal of Oncology with Oncology Times, reporting from the European Lung Cancer meeting in Lugano. This edition’s been produced with the help of And we heard some pretty high science at this European meeting:


Yes. Checkpoint inhibition involving structures like the CDL A4 receptor, the PD 1 receptor and the PDL 1 ligand, for all of which there are now specific therapeutic antibodies. So you could, hopefully, kick-start immune function in surrounding tissues, according to Martin Reck. And he appealed to cancer doctors for help with clinical trial recruitment:

Martin Reck

It would be very keen to have more patients on clinical trials. So I would give a strong argument to be aware of the clinical trials which are out now and to look for cancer centers who are participating in these clinical trials: because we will only get the valid knowledge about the efficacy of the drug if we really are able to run these trials in patients with advanced cancers 


That was Martin Reck, from Grosshansdorf Hospital, near Hamburg



And that’s all for now from our taste of the European Multidisciplinary Conference in Thoracic Oncology held in Lugano Switzerland.

This edition of the Audio Journal of Oncology was made jointly with Oncology Times and MDFM. You can get more on this from OT itself and you’ll find ongoing audio and video coverage from us at

Sarah Maxwell and I will be back with more soon.  Until then from me, Peter Goodwin, goodbye.


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