The aim of this short review is to summarize the most important data relating to the field of thoracic tumors presented at the 2016 ASCO annual meeting. For small cell lung cancer (SCLC) the treatment algorithms once again remain unchanged. The CONVERT study was not able to show superiority of a modern chemoradiotherapy regimen using once daily fractionation over the historical standard of hyperfractionated chemoradiotherapy. With rovalpituzumab tesirine a promising new agent is in development, leading to encouraging treatment results in patients with pretreated, extensive SCLC disease on phase IB level. Regarding nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) a phase II trial was able to confirm high efficacy of the combination dabrafenib/trametinib if a BRAF-V600E mutation is detectable. These data should lead to more widespread implementation of BRAF mutation testing in routine diagnostic work-up. In the J‑ALEX trial alectinib outperformed crizotinib in the first-line treatment of Asian patients with ALK-rearranged metastatic NSCLC. However, further data from ongoing studies will be necessary to better define the optimal sequencing of treatments for this genetically defined subgroup of patients.