Highlights in the 14thCentral European Lung Cancer Conference (CELCC)

Highlights in the 14th Central European Lung Cancer Conference (CELCC)

Grace Li

Senior Editor, Editorial Office of Translational Lung Cancer Research, Guangzhou 510220, China

Correspondence to: Grace Li. Senior Editor, Editorial Office of Translational Lung Cancer Research, Guangzhou 510220, China. Email: editor@tlcr.org.

Submitted Dec 15, 2014. Accepted for publication Dec 15, 2014.

doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2218-6751.2014.12.04

The 14th Central European Lung Cancer Conference (CELCC) was held from 29 November until 2 December 2014, in Vienna, Austria (1).

The Central European Lung Cancer Conferences have a long academic tradition for over two decades and have regularly been held in various cities of Central Europe since 1992. These multidisciplinary conferences focused on both education and scientific developments in the field of lung cancer by offering symposia, oral sessions, poster sessions and satellite symposia.

This year’s conference was held in Vienna (Figure 1), which is an excellent venue for this Conference because of its central location in Europe and easy accessibility from all parts of the world. Despite the cold with rain outside, people can leisurely enjoy their time on the street full of splendid lights shaped in interesting form (for Christmas), with a cup of “Punsch” (a popular local wine), let alone the friendly and warm atmosphere inside the conference room and the exhibition hall.

Figure 1 Hofburg, the imperial palace of the Habsburg rulers in Vienna.
Figure 2 At the registration desk, the special issue dedicated to CELCC was displayed. CELCC, Central European Lung Cancer Conference.

With the honor to become the academic partner for the conference, Translational Lung Cancer Research (TLCR) has worked with the conference to publish a special issue dedicated to the 14th CELCC, under the leadership of Prof. Robert Pirker, the Conference Chair and the Chair for the Chinese-Central European Symposium, and Prof. Caicun Zhou, the co-Chair for the Chinese-Central European Symposium. The special issue (http://www.tlcr.org/issue/view/112) covers timely topics with regard to diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, and also contains the abstracts submitted for presentations during the 14th CELCC. Apart from being included in the conference bag (Figure 2), the special issue was exhibited at our booth of “AME editorial office” (Figure 3).

Figure 3 From left to right: Prof. Robert Pirker, AME editors (Grace Li and Melanie He), Prof. Nevena Secen, Prof. Wilfried Eberhardt and Prof. Gyula Ostoros.

Opening of the conference

The opening ceremony began at 17:00 on November 29th. Prof. Robert Pirker and Prof. Christoph Zielinski delivered the opening speech by extending their warm welcome to the attendees (Figures 4,5).

Figure 4 Robert Pirker was delivering the opening speech.
Figure 5 Prof. Christoph Zielinski was delivering the opening speech.

Besides molecular diagnosis and targeted therapies, this year’s conference featured the Chinese-Central European Symposium with the presentation of a group of Chinese key experts on lung cancer. While primary prevention and screening in Central Europe were put under the spotlight, recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer were updated.

The audience was surprised to learn that November 29th is the birthday of Prof. Robert Pirker. Applause came as the best wishes to Prof. Pirker in the big event.

Following are the speeches from Prof. Lubos Petruzelka from Charles University of Prague, Prof. Gyula Ostoros from Hungary, Prof. Thierry Le Chevalier from France (Figures 6-9).

Figure 6 Prof. Lubos Petruzelka from Charles University of Prague was introducing the History of CELCC. CELCC, Central European Lung Cancer Conference.
Figure 7 Prof. Gyula Ostoros from Hungary was introducing History of IASLC.
Figure 8 Prof. Thierry Le Chevalier from France was looking into the Lung Cancer Treatment in 2020.
Figure 9 Pictures taken at the opening ceremony.

Together we are ushered into the new journey of exploring the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.

Interactive session: molecular biology for clinicians

On the first morning (November 30th) of CELCC, we welcomed the speeches by the experts from different countries of Central Europe.

Prof. Ales Ryska emphasized the importance of re-biopsy in order to gain as much information as possible, and more efforts should be made to develop targeted drugs based on found targets. Accordingly, the treatment strategy should vary dependent on the proven target.

Prof. Jozsef Timar mentioned that the higher requirements of differential diagnosis in pathology and molecular diagnosis of lung cancer entail an improvement in both the quantity and quality of the tumor sample. In terms of molecular detection, taking EGFR as an example, methods like Sanger, Quiagen, Cobas and NGS have been widely used. He underlined that pathologists should keep in mind the multidisciplinary concept and work closely with clinicians and doctors who perform bronchoscopy or other interventions for collection of tumor specimens.

Following Prof. Martin Filipits’s introduction of the Methods & Interpretation for Molecular Analysis, Prof. Gyula Ostoros expanded on the in-depth study of KRAS in Lung Cancer. KRAS mutations have been reported as a negative prognostic and predictive factor in patients with NSCLC treated with EGFR-TKIs. He pointed out that KRAS codon 12 and codon 13 mutations are no better prognostic and predictive factors in first-line chemotherapy than the KRASs-wild type. Nevertheless, the four subtypes of codon 12 (G12C, G12V, G12D, G12A) mutations have different predictive function. “Given the heterogeneous and complicated nature of KRAS-mutations, more studies are still needed for further illustration of their clinical relevance.” Prof. Ostoros concluded.

Chinese-Central European Symposium

The Chinese-Central European Symposium was chaired by Prof. Caicun Zhou from China and Prof. Robert Pirker from Austria in the first afternoon of the scientific meeting.

First and foremost, Prof Zhou introduced the Lung Cancer Epidemiology in Shanghai and China on the whole. He indicated that the incidence of lung cancer is much higher and still increasing in China compared to in other countries. These may be due to smoking, pollution, genetic susceptibility and other factors. Speaking of that, difference in pathological analysis could be seen: the incidence of squamous carcinomas is decreasing while lung adenocarcinomas are on the rise, among which EGFR mutations are seen in 68%. Prof. Zhou also indicated that the incidence of lung cancer is increasing among non-smoking females (Figure 10).

Figure 10 Prof. Caicun Zhou was giving an introduction on Lung Cancer Epidemiology in China.

Prof. Xiuyi Zhi brought to our attention that November is officially the Lung Cancer Awareness Month and then focused on the primary prevention efforts in China. He indicated that the incidence of lung cancer is significantly related to the following three factors: air pollution (usually measured by PM2.5), indoor air pollution (as a result of smoking, cooking fume and interior decoration) and anger (psychological factor). Currently, the smoking ban is taken as the primary prevention, which in Prof. Zhi’s perspective has already taken effect but still more legislative and social efforts are needed (Figure 11).

Figure 11 Prof. Xiuyi Zhi was introducing Primary Prevention in China.

An interesting discussion among the speakers and the attendees was triggered after Prof. Jacek Jassem (Figure 12) from Poland had introduced the smoking control policy in Poland. One of the widely discussed topics was around the increased incidence of lung cancer among non-smoking females. According to Prof. Zhi, air pollution, indoor air pollution and anger (psychological factor) may be the main reasons.

Figure 12 Prof. Jassem was introducing the Tobacco Control & Smoking Cessation in Poland.

Next, Prof. Jie Wang (Figure 13) provided an overview on the management of advanced lung cancer in China. Prof. Yilong Wu then introduced the Chinese Thoracic Oncology Group (CTONG) and presented phase III clinical trials that CTONG is currently conducting (Figure 14).

Figure 13 Prof. Wang was talking about the treatment of advanced NSCLC in China.
Figure 14 Prof. Wu was introducing the ongoing Phase III Trials in China.

Throughout the Conference, the program was compact and close-knit, and also provided a good opportunity for in-depth and extensive discussions in each session (Figure 15A,B). The conference further promoted research cooperation in Central Europe as researchers of the region were encouraged to present their latest results. The conference also offered opportunities for young doctors to discuss their ongoing or planned research projects. “I am sure the 14th Central European Lung Cancer Conference offered an excellent scientific program and enhanced co-operation within Central Europe and also initiated a closer scientific cooperation between China and Central Europe, particularly in the field of primary prevention strategies.” as Prof. Pirker summarized.

Figure 15 The discussion between the speakers and the audience was ongoing.

As invited participants of the congress, TLCR editors have had the pleasure in gathering together with the editorial board member, authors and readers’ onsite, including Prof. Fred Hirsch, Prof. Martin Filipits, Prof. Jacek Jassem, Prof. Branislav Perin, Prof. Nevena Secen, Prof. Wilfried Eberhardt and Prof. Helmut Popper and others (Figures 16-20). The free discussions between sessions and communications in coffee breaks provided us with an unforgettable experience. Here on behalf of the Translational Lung Cancer Research team, we would like to convey our sincere thanks to this great opportunity that Prof. Robert Pirker and the CELCC committee offered us to join the meeting and our appreciation to the authors who have made considerable contribution to the special issue dedicated to 14th CELCC.

Figure 16 Prof. Pirker was happily unpacking the birthday present sent by the TLCR editors.
Figure 17 Prof. Christian Manegold (the Editor Emeritus of TLCR) and Grace Li (TLCR editor).
Figure 18 From left to right: Dr. Guanghui Gao, Prof. Xiuyi Zhi, Prof. Caicun Zhou, Prof. Jacek Jassem.
Figure 19 Mrs. Bonnie J. Addario, the founder of Lung Cancer Foundation with TLCR editors.
Figure 20 From left to right: Melanie He (TLCR editor), Prof. Branislav Perin, Dr. Bojan Zaric, Prof. Hirsch, Prof. Helmut Popper and Grace Li (TLCR editor).

We look forward to meeting you in next conference!


Disclosure: The author declares no conflict of interest.


  1. The program of the 14th Central European Lung Cancer Conference. Available online: http://www.mondial-congress.com/de/celcc2014
Cite this article as: Li G. Highlights in the 14th Central European Lung Cancer Conference (CELCC). Transl Lung Cancer Res 2014;3(6):414-419. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2218-6751.2014.12.04