VHIO investigators co-author new ESMO Clinical Practice Guideline with evidence-based recommendations for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer

Dra. Cristina Saura

Marking this October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the new ESMO Clinical Practice Guideline for metastatic breast cancer has just published as a Special Article (1) in the flagship journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology’s (ESMO), Annals of Oncology.  Providing key recommendations and algorithms for the management of this incurable disease that remains the leading cause of death from all cancers in women, this up-to-the-minute guideline covers the diagnosis, staging, risk assessment, treatment, disease monitoring, palliative cancer and, as importantly, the patient perspective.

Developed by a panel of 28 eminent leaders in this field, including Cristina Saura, Principal Investigator of VHIO’s Breast Cancer Group, and Javier Cortés, an Associate Translational Investigator at VHIO, on behalf of ESMO’s Guidelines Committee chaired by Giuseppe Curigliano, European Institute of Oncology – IEO (Milan, Italy), these recommendations represent a valuable tool for the practical application of the very latest research advances in the more precise and effective management and treatment of advanced and metastatic disease.

Replacing the previous reference document in this particular field (2) this present guideline also provides graded recommendations for different treatments based on their scoring and performance within ESMO’s Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale (ESMO-MCBS) (3) and the ESMO Scale for the Clinical Actionability of Molecular Targets (ESCAT) (4).

“Considering the irrepressible explosion of new data and the advances driven by translational research in the current era of precision oncology, we will be regularly updating these new guidelines in real time. As such, they will  be published on ESMO’s website as a dynamic and interactive tool, also providing medical oncologists and healthcare professionals with access to important reference materials and other resources,” said VHIO’s Cristina Saura who also directs the Breast Cancer Unit, Medical Oncology Service at our hospital, the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (HUVH).

“Covering the different breast cancer biological subtypes described to-date, these guidelines, as with any other current clinical practice recommendations, need to be discussed in a shared decision-making approach with our patients who rightly remain at the center of everything we do,” concluded Javier Cortés.

To access the new ESMO Clinical Practice Guideline for the diagnosis, staging and treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer please click here.




  1. Gennari, F. André, C. H. Barrios, J. Cortés, E. de Azambuja, A. DeMichele, R. Dent, D. Fenlon, J. Gligorov, S. A. Hurvitz, S.-A. Im, D. Krug, W. G. Kunz, S. Loi, F. Penault Lorca, J. Ricke, M. Robson, H. S. Rugo, C. Saura, P. Schmid, C. F. Singer, T. Spanic, S. M. Tolaney, N. C. Turner, G. Curigliano, S. Loibl, S. Paluch-Shimon and N. Harbeck, on behalf of the ESMO Guidelines Committee. ESMO Clinical Practice Guideline for the diagnosis, staging and treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annonc.2021.09.019.
  2. Cardoso, S. Paluch-Simon, E. Senkus, G. Curigliano, M.S. Aapro, F. André, C.H. Barrios, J. Bergh, G.S. Bhattacharyya, L. Biganzoli, F. Boyle, M.-J. Cardoso, L.A. Carey, J. Cortés, N.S. El Saghir, M. Elzayat, A. Eniu, L. Fallowfield, P.A. Francis, K. Gelmon, J. Gligorov, R. Haidinger, N. Harbeck, X. Hu, B. Kaufman, R. Kaur, B.E. Kiely, S.-B. Kim, N.U. Lin, S.A. Mertz, S. Neciosup, B.V. Offersen, S. Ohno, O. Pagani, A. Prat, F. Penault Lorca, H.S. Rugo, G.W. Sledge, C. Thomssen, D.A. Vorobiof, T. Wiseman, B. Xu, L. Norton, A. Costa and E.P. Winer. 5th ESO-ESMO international consensus guidelines for advanced breast cancer (ABC 5). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annonc.2020.09.010.
  3. ESMO’s Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale (ESMO-MCBS) is a reference tool used by various stakeholders in oncology to respond to the issue of value in cancer medicines and treatments, and is developed by its corresponding Working Group (WG) championed by Nathan I. Cherny, Shaare Zedek Hospital (Jerusalem, Israel), and also counts on the expertise of VHIO’s Director, Josep Tabernero, who is a Member of its WG and also sits on ESMO’s Executive Board as Past-President, among several other key appointments.
  4. The ESMO Scale for the Clinical Actionability of Molecular Targets (ESCAT) is a collaborative project initiated by ESMO’s Translational Research & Precision Medicine Working Group that provides a systematic framework to rank molecular targets based on available evidence supporting their value as clinical targets. Chaired by Joaquin Mateo, Principal Investigator of VHIO’s Prostate Cancer Translational Research Group, this WG also includes Joan Seoane, Director of Preclinical & Translational Research at VHIO and an ICREA Research Professor, among its appointed Members.


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