Multidisciplinary Management of Lung Cancer
1-3 December 2022
I work as a radiation oncology specialist at the Amethyst Radiotherapy Centre in Cracow, Poland. The centre operates with Ludwik Rydygier Memorial Hospital and Saint John Paul II Memorial Hospital in Cracow. The Amethyst is a big oncology centre that offers multidisciplinary management of the most common malignancies. This is my eighth year of practice but my second as a specialist, because previously I was a resident doctor in training.
Multidisciplinary management of lung cancer was the fifth ESTRO course that I have attended. I started to attend ESTRO courses during my training in radiation oncology. I found out about ESTRO courses from my workmates. This year I chose this course because I treat many patients with lung cancer every day. I cooperate with thoracic surgeons and I was especially interested in lectures given by surgeons.
During the course, I found the talks on small-cell lung cancer particularly interesting. I was able to resolve questions I had about the use of prophylactic cranial irradiation and consolidative radiotherapy of the chest after chemoimmunotherapy with atezolizumab for patients with metastatic disease.
Several lectures were about immunotherapy in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). I have been following the results of many new clinical trials that have tested immunotherapy as a neoadjuvant treatment, and I think we will change our daily practice soon in line with these results.
My take-away messages regarding NSCLC are:
- advanced age is not a contraindication for surgery; the decision regarding whether or not to operate depends on each patient’s fitness and level of pulmonary function;
- the most effective treatment for inoperable patients is radiochemotherapy with sequential durvalumab immunotherapy;
- hypofractionated radiotherapy is better than standard fractionated radiotherapy for patients with contraindications for radiochemotherapy.
I found this course very valuable for me to revise my knowledge of chest malignancies. On the personal side, the atmosphere during the course was excellent. I made new friend from Poland and Romania. We spent time together in the evenings and tried traditional Belgian beer, mussels and chips. We also enjoyed the Christmas market in Grand Place and found a light and music concert that was playing there exciting. I also made a trip to Bruges, which is a quaint, small city full of canals, like a small Venice.
I strongly encourage everyone I work with to participate in ESTRO courses. They offer not only good opportunities to learn the state-of-the-art in radiation oncology, but also to improve your English, visit other countries, meet people from all over the world, discover that physicians in other centres face the same challenges as you do, and to overcome your shyness.
Katarzyna Serwańska, MD
Radiation oncology specialist
Amethyst Radiotherapy Centre
Ludwik Rydygier Memorial Hospital