No sooner had VHIO’s Joan Seoane returned from last month’s phenomenal 25th Biennial Congress of the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR), that he helped to engineer alongside Anton Berns (Congress & Scientific Chair and now EACR’s immediate Past President) and the Congress’ Scientific Program Committee, than his attentions reset to focus on the scientific line-ups for not one, but two EACR conferences that are coming to Barcelona in early 2019:

First up, Tracking Cancer: Detection and Monitoring, from Diagnosis to Therapy, 04 – 06 February 2019, supported by VHIO, will be celebrated at the CosmoCaixa Science Museum. The scientific program par excellence, formulated by Joan and the other four Scientific Committee members, Victoria Aranda (Nature, New York, USA), Alberto Bardelli (University of Turin Candiolo Cancer Institute, Candiolo, Italy), Markus Elsner (Nature Biotechnology, Heidelberg, Germany), and Charlie Swanton (Francis Crick Institute, London, UK), will draw a highly representative attendance of professionals working across technology and data analysis, drug development, and the clinical management of cancer.

By providing an interactive environment to discuss current challenges and ways to move the field forward, and tackling some of the most relevant areas in today’s era of precision oncology including circulating tumor cells, imaging, liquid biopsy, clinical trial design, immunotherapy and genome analysis, this meeting will foster the exchange of ideas and spur multidisciplinary collaborations.

Please note: the deadline to submit an abstract is 16 November 2018, and registration closes 04 January 2019.


The second, coming to Barcelona from 11 – 13 March 2019, is themed Defence is the Best Attack: Immuno-Oncology Breakthroughs and is currently being co-crafted by Joan alongside Alena Gros, Principal Investigator of VHIO’s Tumor Immunology & Immunotherapy Group, and two other renowned leaders within the field, Johanna Joyce (Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne, Switzerland), and Jedd D. Wolchok (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA).

Taking place at Gaudi’s stunning Casa Milà (“La Pedrera”) in the heart of Barcelona, the program promises the most recent advances and insights in the field of immunotherapy from basic science to clinical studies including the identification of novel targets; an improved understanding of the mechanisms of action of therapeutic interventions; as well as latest findings exploring biomarkers of response to treatment and mechanisms of intrinsic and acquired resistance to immunotherapy.

Set to attract basic and translational scientists and clinicians, just some of the many areas up for debate will include immune checkpoints, cancer immunoediting, innate immune response, microbioma and the immune system, CAR T cells, vaccination, biomarkers of response to immunotherapy, and mechanisms of resistance to novel immune-based therapies.

Please note: the deadline to submit an abstract is 03 December 2018, and registration closes 01 February 2019.


Talking to VHIO Communications about the importance of EACR’s educational portfolio, Joan Seoane, Director of Translational Research at VHIO and ICREA Professor observed, “Over recent years, with budgets often compromised coupled with impossibly busy schedules, we sometimes have to make very difficult choices when deciding which conferences to attend. Promising critical interconnectivity and cross-talk between oncology professionals from bench to beside and reporting on the very latest directions in cancer science and medicine, participation at EACR meetings should never be considered a luxury. Rather, they represent essential educational opportunities for participants and speakers alike.”

“I am truly honored and proud to be the Chairman of EACR’s Conference Series Committee as well as help with the organization of  its exceptional Biennial Congresses. The Conference Series are all about niche, must-attend meetings with the very same widespread and multidisciplinary appeal as the Association’s flagship event,” concluded Joan, who also serves as EACR’s Secretary General.

An additional EACR meeting organized by Joan earlier this year offered delegates a masterclass on LIF from the preclinical, translational and clinical perspectives. Hosted by VHIO, this two-day, inspired conference entitled LIF As We Know It: From Basic Science to Clinical Trials, 28 – 29 May, was superbly engineered to offer a broad, stimulating and comprehensive overview of the most recent advances in the field of LIF. Testament to the caliber of this event, a post-conference survey achieved a 100% recommendation rate with 49 out of 50 responders ranking the scientific quality as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.

To discover more about EACR’s meetings past and those in the pipeline please visit: