Jules Derks received NRS Travel Grant
Visiting the 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC)
Recently the NRS gave me the opportunity to visit and present my data at the 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) that took place in Denver (USA). The WCLC was of interest because of the multidisciplinary emphasis of the meeting: connecting basic researchers, molecular biologists, pathologists and oncologists. The main goals of the visit were to present my results and interact with experts in the field.
My PhD project focuses on the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas (LCNEC) on a general basis, and in the Netherlands specifically. Eventually we hope to increase the diagnostic accuracy for LCNEC, particularly on small biopsies. Moreover, we hope to correlate clinical characteristics with molecular characteristics in patients with LCNEC.
During the meeting an important paper was discussed proposing the idea of two LCNEC subtypes (i.e. a small cell cancer and a non-small cell cancer subtype) originating from data obtained after next-generation sequencing. After the presentation I contacted the presenter to discuss several ideas and the next day we even talked about a possible collaboration. In addition, the conference gave me the opportunity to meet with two expert pulmonary pathologists with broad experience on neuroendocrine tumors.
In conclusion, the WCLC helped me to contact several investigators in the niche field of neuroendocrine tumors. Hopefully this will lead to some kind of collaboration in the following two years of my PhD project.