105IN - Lung cancer: The European Thoracic Oncology Platform

Date 29 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session ESMO-CSCO Joint symposium: Building the clinical trials of the future
Topics Bioethics, Legal, and Economic Issues
Thoracic Malignancies
Presenter Rolf Stahel
Authors R.A. Stahel
  • Labor Für Molekulare Onkologie, Universitätsspital, 8044 - Zurich/CH


The European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP) is a foundation with the purpose to promote exchange and research in the field of thoracic malignancies. It was founded in 2009 and continuous to enlarged its membership to now comprise more than 40 members, including groups and institutions from most parts of Europe, as well as one large cancer center in the USA and China, respectively (www.etop-eu.org). ETOP promotes exchange of information and research. This is done be an active web-site, a yearly ETOP meeting for associated members and their investigators, and by a residential workshop aimed at fostering the research activity of younger investigators. Lungscape is a large translational research project designed by ETOP. It aims to coordinating the research of a group of lung cancer specialists working in translational research across Europe. This initiative has the potential to facilitate more rapid translation of biomarker knowledge to the clinic. Lungscape is evolving in step-wise fashion, starting with a retrospective analysis of up to 2400 completely resected NSCLC from 16 institutions. The fundamental approach of Lungscape was to build a decentralized iBiobank of samples from lung cancer patients with annotated clinical and pathological data and at least three years of documented follow-up. The virtual nature of iBiobank and the introduction of standardized biomolecular assessments - in which samples are tested using identical protocols across local laboratories- removes the need of transferring samples to a central location for evaluation. ETOP has also initiated two clinical trials with biomarker components. BELIEF is phase II trial with erlotinib and bevacizumab for patients with non-squamous cell lung cancer and activating EGFR mutation stratified by the presence of T790M mutation as determined centrally by a very sensitive methodology. This is done on preclinical evidence suggestion synergy between EGFR TKI and antiangiogenetic therapy for tumors in case of activating mutation and the presence of T790M. The EMPHASIS lung is a phase III trial comparing erlotinib and docetaxel in second line for squamous cell lung cancer. The study will allow determining the predictive role of a serum proteomic classifier called VeriStrat for a beneficial effect of erlotinib. Other trials are in preparation.


The author has declared no conflicts of interest.