EORTC Lung Cancer Group has a strong track record in initiating and conducting clinical trials across thoracic cancers. The focus is not only lung cancer but also mesothelioma and thymomas. This follows EORTC strategy to challenge, re-define and develop standards of care for loco-regional as well as for systemic treatments.
Scientific projects are designed and conducted to integrate disciplines such as imaging, translational research, quality of life and quality assurance. There are multiple partnerships, especially with national groups in Europe but also with international umbrella organisations. The group places special emphasis on recruiting and mentoring junior colleagues who are interested in pursuing an academic career in the field of thoracic oncology.
Projects testing the place of immunotherapy in the treatment of lung cancer are also ongoing such as addressing the role of immunotherapy in the adjuvant setting of lung cancer.

Main Achievements

  • Presented results at ESMO that showed nivolumab monotherapy demonstrates a manageable safety profile and objective activity (EORTC-ETOP NIVOTHYM 1). This is a phase II clinical trial for a rare and orphan thoracic disease in collaboration with the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP).
  • Started recruitment of cohort two in NIVOTHYM 2 that could provide new treatment opportunities for rare and orphan diseases such as thymic epithelial tumors. The trial reported that immunotherapy is feasible in this population, however insufficient to meet the trial primary objective. The second cohort is currently ongoing to assess combination of nivolumab plus ipilimumab.
  • Completed activation and now recruiting for a study in non-small cell lung cancer (ALKALINE) and developed a new study in small cell lung cancer (PRIMALung). Submitted a total of 10 proposals to the Board with contributions from both senior Group members and young investigators.
  • The interim analysis of the PEARLS trial showed that adjuvant pembrolizumab results in a statistically significant improvement in disease-free survival versus placebo in patients with stage IB-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer regardless of the PD-L1 expression. Results will be published in 2022 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

1 Girard et al. LBA66 – Efficacy and safety of nivolumab for patients with pre-treated type B3 thymoma and thymic carcinoma: Results from the EORTCETOP NIVOTHYM phase II trial. ESMO 2021 (Annals of Oncology (2021) 32 (suppl_5): S1283-S1346. 10.1016/ annonc/annonc741)
2 EORTC-1525

EORTC has contributed to changing the standards of care for thoracic oncology:

Established radiotherapy as the preferred loco-regional treatment in non-small-cell lung cancer patients.  &

Demonstrated the benefit of prophylactic cranial irradiation to reduce the incidence of symptomatic brain metastases in extensive small-cell lung cancer.

Confirmed a combination of Cisplatin and Raltitrexed was more effective than Cisplatin alone in improving the survival of patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM).

Related Projects

  • 1459: Exploratory analysis of the pleural mesothelioma genome by next generation sequencing
  • 1495: Update of OS in 08092 and CRP marker
  • 1496: Survey on Thymoma / thymic malignancy
  • 1549: Pharmacogenetic analysis from the double blind randomized phase III study ofmaintenance pazopanib versus placebo in NSCLC patients non progressive after first line chemotherapy. MAPPING, an EORTC Lung Group study
  • 1557 Predict therapy in NSCLC: Studying changes in the expression of genes related to the metabolism and the chemotherapeutic activity in primary tumor and lymph and mediastinal lymph nodes infiltrated in resectable NSCLC
  • 1638: Phase II, Parallel-Arm Study of MGCD265 in patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC with Activating Genetic Alterations in Mesenchymal-Epithelial Transition Factor

IMI CANCER-ID – Cancer treatment and monitoring through identification of circulating tumor cells and tumor related nucleic acids in blood. EORTC is contributing with biological material and related data from EORTC study 1335 SPECTAlung.

European Reference Networks (ERN) for rare solid tumours (EURACAN). EURACAN is involving references centers in Europe covering ten types of rare cancers. EURACAN will improve patient cares and facilitate research in rare cancers.  EORTC is providing the clinical research infrastructure. (No website available yet)

Research Group

Group documents
  • Chair

    Anne-Marie Dingemans

    Erasmus MC

    Rotterdam, Netherlands

  • Secretary

    Jordi Remon Masip

    Institut Gustave Roussy

    Villejuif, France

  • Treasurer

    Thierry Berghmans

    Institut Jules Bordet

    Brussels, Belgium

Other members

  • B. Besse - Villejuif, FR

    Past Chair

    Gustave Roussy

  • C. Faivre-Finn - Manchester, GB

    Early stage NSCLC & Radiotherapy

    The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

  • N. Girard - Paris, FR

    Thymic malignancies

    Institut Curie

  • J. Edwards - Sheffield , GB

    Early stage NSCLC & Surgery

    Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Weston Park Hospital

  • J. Menis - Padova, IT

    Young investigator co-chair

    IRCCS - Istituto Oncologico Veneto

  • M. Giaj Levra - Grenoble, FR

    Young investigator chair

    CHU de Grenoble - La Tronche - Hopital A. Michallon

  • L. Hendriks - Maastricht, NL

    Metastatic NSCLC: systemic treatment

    Academisch Ziekenhuis Maastricht

  • J. Von Der Thusen - Rotterdam, NL

    Biopathology chair

    Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Josephine Nefkens Institute

  • P. Bironzo - Torino, IT

    Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

    Universita Di Torino - Ospedale S. Luigi Gonzaga

  • D. De Ruysscher - Maastricht, NL

    Metastatic NSCLC: oligometastatic disease and new developments

    Maastro Clinic - Maastricht Radiation Oncology

  • N. Reguart - Barcelona, ES


    Hospital Clinic Universitari de Barcelona

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