Clinical trials performed within the cooperative group system play a substantial role in the advancing of lung cancer therapy. Interactions between the leaders of the cooperative groups are critical and occur regularly throughout the year, but the annual Lung Cancer Congress provides a unique forum for representatives from each group to present ongoing and planned studies in an interactive forum. Herein, we highlight discussion from the 9th annual Lung Cancer Congress in June 2008, focused on advanced-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Many studies are looking at the addition of targeted agents such as bevacizumab, cetuximab, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitors, and apoptosis-inducing agents to chemotherapy. Personalizing therapy by better selection of patients for particular drugs is also being emphasized, most notably epidermal growth factor receptor fluorescence in situ hybridization overexpression and other predictions of response with cetuximab. Future articles in this series will address early and locally advanced NSCLC as well as other thoracic malignancies such as small-cell lung cancer and mesothelioma. Ongoing trials within the cooperative groups are an essential component of the persistent improvement in the treatment of lung cancer.