2018 was a banner year for all thoracic oncology, but especially for early-stage NSCLC. Three seminal events occurred in the approximately 18 months from mid-2017 to the end of 2018: in June 2017 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting a small, relatively unheralded study from Max Diehn's group at Stanford University reported on the use of a novel "cancer personalized profiling by deep sequencing" circulating tumor-DNA technology to identify minimal residual disease in patients after curative-intent radiation or surgery for NSCLC; in April 2018 at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, Drew Pardoll presented a small pilot study of 21 patients who had received two doses of preoperative nivolumab; in September 2018, at the 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer, Harry J. De Koning presented the long-awaited results of the Dutch-Belgian Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NELSON). These three seminal studies, along with others which are reviewed in this paper, promise to accelerate our progress towards a world in which lung cancer is identified early, more patients undergo curative-intent treatment that achieves the promised cure, and those at risk for failure after treatment are identified early, when the cancer remains most vulnerable. The day is around the corner when lung cancer is defanged and no longer the worldwide terror it currently is. We herein present an overview of the most recent body of work that moves us inexorably towards that day.