From April 18th till April 21st, the third European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) was hosted in Geneva. Over the past few years, the ELCC has become the reference event in Europe for professionals treating patients with lung cancer. The third edition of this exciting meeting provided a comprehensive multidisciplinary overview of the state-of-the-art knowledge in thoracic malignancies, covering different aspects such as prevention, screening, early diagnosis, treatment modalities and the result of translational and clinical research. The meeting attracted over 1,500 attendees from all over the world. This report does not pretend to summarise the entire meeting but simply aims at discussing some important take-home messages from the congress. (BELG J MED ONCOL 2012;6:136–139)