Just over one week ago on the ground at the ESMO Congress 2019, 27 September – 01 October, Barcelona, organized in partnership with the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR), premier oncology channel ecancer caught up with just some of our faculty who led and contributed to the many studies that headlined throughout the meeting.

First up, VHIO’s Director Josep Tabernero, who is also ESMO and ESMO Congress 2019 President, discusses the results from the phase III multicenter BEACON CRC trial that he presented during a Proffered Paper Session. Also publishing in parallel as an Original Article in The New England Journal of Medicine, findings show that the combination of a trio of BRAF, MEK, and EGFR inhibitors not only significantly improves overall survival but also increases objective response rates compared with standard of care in patients with BRAF V600E-mutant metastatic colorectal cancer.

To discover more about what Josep had to say about this study please click below:


For VHIO’s dedicated news article click here.


Selected to first outing as a late breaker during a Poster Discussion Session, María Alsina, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Investigator of VHIO’s Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group (PI, Teresa Macarulla, Director, Josep Tabernero), presented results from the KEYNOTE-062 phase II study on the measured impact of first line treatment with pembrolizumab versus chemotherapy on patients’ quality of life.

As she revealed during her interview with ecancer, research showed that pembrolizumab is not inferior to giving patients standard chemotherapy in terms of quality of life. Together with the efficacy data of Keynote-062, the results support a risk to benefit ratio favorable to immunotherapy as first line therapy in patients with stomach and/or gastroesophageal junction cancer.

To access and this invited interview please see here:


For VHIO’s news item covering the KEYNOTE-062 clinical trial click here.


Next, VHIO’s Teresa Macarulla, Principal Investigator of our Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group was invited to join co-discussant Eric Van Cutsem (University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium), for expert comment on the very latest advances presented at ESMO 2019 in pancreatic cancer.

They explore studies including the APACT, NEOLAP trials, highlight promising findings from the POLO trial which headlined earlier this year during ASCO’s Annual Meeting, and exchange their respective experiences when assessing tumor resectability coupled with the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration when treating local diseases.

Please access this engaging exchange by clicking below:

Chairing an ecancer panel session, Karim Fizazi (Institut Gustave Roussy, Paris, France) was joined by Joaquin Mateo, Principal Investigator of our Prostate Cancer Translational Research Group, Shahneen Sandhu (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia), and Bertrand Tombal ( Université Cahtolique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium), to discuss just some of the many standout studies in prostate cancer.

The experts’ pick includes the RADICALS, SPARTAN, STAMPEDE, and PROfound clinical trials. They then conclude the session by debating the use of PARP inhibitors in the clinic:



Other ESMO Congress 2019 VHIO-related news: CHECKMATE 358: immunotherapy in combination points to paradigm shift in the treatment of cervical cancer.