VHIO at ESMO World GI: who, what and when


The countdown is now on as we get ready to attend the European Society for Medical Oncology’s (ESMO) premier and fully onsite World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer (WCGIC), 29 June – 02 July, Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB), chaired by our Director, Josep Tabernero, alongside Founding Congress Chair, Eric Van Cutsem, University Hospital Gasthuisberg (Leuven, Belgium), and Vice Chair, Michel Ducreux, Institut Gustave Roussy (Paris, France).

The outstanding Scientific Program, devised by WCGIC 2022’s Scientific Committee comprised of several renowned leaders in GI cancer treatment, research and care, is tailored to practicing clinicians dedicated to enhancing their knowledge and advancing the treatment and management of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.

Set to welcome an international attendance of over 3,200 delegates spanning 95 different countries, this annual gathering represents the leading global platform for the exchange and debate of the latest emerging data, new research and novel treatment approaches and trial designs in this rapidly advancing and dynamic field.

Among the leading gastroenterology, oncology, pathology, and hepatology experts, clinicians, and surgeons, as well as clinical researchers from across the globe who will be sharing pioneering research and best practices will be many VHIO Medical Oncologists and Clinical Investigators, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (HUVH).

Reflective of their expertise and presence on the global oncology stage, not only will be they presenting latest data from various studies, selected by ESMO to first outing throughout the meeting, our researchers are also participating as invited Session Chairs, Moderators, Speakers, Discussants and Panelists.

We take this opportunity to highlight just some of their participation as follows:

  • Wednesday 29 June

The BTC Patient Journey: Best Practices and Current Challenges

11:15 – 12:45h, Rooms 115-116, Level 1.

Teresa Macarulla, Principal Investigator of VHIO’s Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Tumors Group opens this first scientific session of the Congress prior to the Opening Session.

Teresa will chair and moderate invited talks, case study presentations and discussions covering patient presentation and diagnosis, biliary tract cancer subtyping and disease heterogeneity, biomarkers, key challenges and future prospects in the management of BTC, followed by a Q&A with the audience.


Welcome & Opening Session

13:00 – 13:30h, Auditorium A, Level 0.

Congress Chair and VHIO’s Director, Josep Tabernero, will be joined by Founding Congress Chair, Eric Van Cutsem, University Hospital Gasthuisberg (Leuven, Belgium), and Vice Chair, Michel Ducreux, Institut Gustave Roussy (Paris, France), to warmly welcome participants and speakers alike.

As co-Chairs of the Opening Session, they will officially kick-off the meeting with the presentation and discussion of two selected late-breaking abstracts as follows:


  • LBA O-9: Botensilimab, a novel innate/adaptive immune activator, plus balstilimab (anti-PD-1) for metastatic heavily pretreated microsatellite stable colorectal cancer. Speaker: TBC.
  • LBA O-10: First-line panitumumab versus bevacizumab in combination with mFOLFOX6 for RAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer: PARADIGM trial results. Speaker: Kei Muro, Aichi Cancer Center Hospital (Nagoya, Japan).

LBAs Discussant: Ryan Corcoran, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center (Weston, USA).

Session II: Cancer of the Pancreas

13:30 – 16:15h, Auditorium A, Level 0.

This second Congress session, to be co-chaired by Margaret Tempero, University of California San Francisco (Lincoln, USA), and Eric Van Cutsem, will include invited talks spanning a wide range of topics including hereditary predisposition to this tumor type, management of pre-malignant lesions, new treatment avenues, and the targeting of the microenvironment and immune system in PDAC.

The first speaker is Judith Balmaña, Principal Investigator of VHIO’s Hereditary Cancer Genetics Group, who will present on Hereditary Predisposition to Pancreatic Cancer: Whom and How to Screen and What to Look For? (13:30 – 13:50h).

This comprehensive Session also features the presentation of two selected abstracts, a trio of debates, and cases with panel discussions.

Session III: Cancer of the Biliary Tract

16:40 – 18:45h, Auditorium A, Level 0.

During this third Session, co-Chairs and Moderators Michel P. Ducreux, and Angela Lamarca, Fundación Jiménez Díaz (Madrid, Spain), will welcome invited speakers who will present on surgical resection of Klatskin tumors and gall bladder, and new agents in bile duct cancer. The latter talk will be delivered by VHIO’s Teresa Macarulla (17:47 – 18:10h).

Session highlights will also include the presentation and discussion of three selected abstracts, a two cases and panel discussions focused on locally advanced biliary tract cancer, and NGS as the first-line treatment in all biliary duct cancer patients with advanced disease, followed by a Q&A round and panel discussion.

Session: Current Highlights and Future Strategies for GI

19:00 – 20:30h, Room 117, Level 1.

Maria Alsina, a Clinical Investigator of VHIO’s Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Tumors Group, and a Medical Oncologist at the University Hospital of Navarra – HUN (Pamplona, Spain), is an Invited Speaker of this session chaired by Markus Moehler, Universitätsmedizin Mainz (Germany), and Elisa Fontana, The Royal Marsden Sutton (Surrey, UK), and will present on targeted therapies and immunotherapy in upper GI cancers (19:35 – 19:50h), alongside Elizabeth C. Smyth, Cambridge University Hospitals, NHS Foundation (UK).

Other session speakers will focus on additional topics including  ctDNA and immunotherapy in colorectal cancer, HPB and pancreatic cancers, and the state of personalized GI oncology in Europe and future directions. Interspersed, there will be three Roundtable discussions with invited panelists, followed by a wrap up by the co-Chairs.

Day 1 of ESMO’s WCGIC 2022 will close with the 18th ESO Colorectal Cancer Observatory: Innovation and Care in the Next 12 Months.

19:00 – 21:00h, Rooms 115-116, Level 1.

Chaired by Mario A. Dicato, Luxembourg Medical Center, session speakers including VHIO’s Director and Congress Chair, Josep Tabernero, will present on a variety of areas including the increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in young adults, new treatments, adjuvant therapy, therapeutic strategies in the metastatic setting, surgical advances, cancer cell spread in undetectable primary disease, and, colorectal cancer – is it a matter of bad luck, an update, followed by closing remarks.

Josep’s talk, New Therapy for Colorectal Cancer, is scheduled to take place at 19:20 – 19:35h.

  • Thursday 30 June

Thursday’s agenda begins with Session IV: ESMO Session: Focus on Young Oncologists (YO) in Collaboration with ESMO’s Young Oncologists Committee.

08:00 – 09:25h, Rooms 122-123, Level 1.

This Session is organized into two parts; Scientific and Mentorship, with each incorporating two expert talks and a respective Q&A and Panel Discussion.

During the Mentorship part, VHIO’s Joaquin Mateo, Principal Investigator of our Prostate Cancer Translational Research Group, will give a talk on Writing your First Grant Application (09:00 – 09:15h), and will also participate in the Q&A round and discussion with the audience, jointly moderated by Claudia Cardone, Insituto Nazionale Tumori – IRCCS Fondazione G. Pascale (Naples, Italy), Andrés Cervantes, Biomedical Research Institute INCLIVA, University of Valencia, Hospital Clínico de Valencia (Spain), Rille Pihlak, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital (London, UK), and Elene Mariamidze, Todua Clinic (Tbilisi, Georgia).

Session VIB: Multidisciplinary Case Discussion on Oligometastatic GI Cancer

08:00 – 09:25h, Rooms 131 – 132, Level 1.

Co-moderated by Josep Tabernero and Harpreet S. Wasan, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London (UK), five invited Panelists will collectively debate and discuss and their particular take  on a case of this tumor type from a purely multidisciplinary perspective.

Joining this expert conversation will be Thomas Gruenberger, Clinicum Favoriten, HPB Center, Health Network Vienna (Austria), Vincent Vandecaveye, University Hospitals Leuven – KU Leuven (Belgium), Pia Osterlund, Tampere University Hospital (Finland) and Karolinska Hospital/Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden), and Gerald Prager, Medizinische Universität Wien (Austria).

WCGIC Colloquium 1: Artificial Intelligence in GI Oncology

18:50 – 19:50h, Room 117, Level 1.

Raquel Perez-Lopez, Principal Investigator of VHIO’s Radiomics Group, is one of the Invited Speakers at one of the three WCGIC Colloquia that will run in parallel. Dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in GI Oncology, Raquel will present on AI in radiology/imaging (18:50 – 19:05h), followed by another two speakers who will deliver talks on AI in endoscopy and pathology.

Closing with a Q&A round, Moderator Mario A. Dicato, Luxembourg Medical Center, will invite the audience for questions to be addressed by the three Speakers/Panelists.

WCGIC Colloquium 2: Molecular Marker Platforms

18:50 – 19:50h, Rooms 113-114, Level 1.

Co-chaired by VHIO’s Josep Tabernero, and Scott Kopetz, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (USA), the following four invited Panelists will update on the very latest approaches and technologies in molecular profiling and biomarker testing for precision cancer therapy, and biomarker-driven decision processes: Dirk Arnold, Asklepios Tumorzentrum Hamburg (Germany), Ryan Corcoran, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center (Boston, USA), Heinz-Josef Lenz, University of Southern California (USA), and Pierre Laurent-Puig, Université de Paris (France).

  • Friday 01 July

Session XI: Mini Symposium: The Role of Functional Imaging in GI Cancer

08:00 – 09:25h, Rooms 129-130, Level 1.

VHIO’s Raquel Perez Lopez will co-chair one of Friday morning’s  Mini Symposia dedicated to functional imaging, alongside Gina Brown, Imperial College London (UK), as well as moderate the Q&A and Panel Discussion following a trio of expert presentations on the very latest in MRI, PET/CT, and radiomics in GI cancer.

Session XIV: Keynote Lectures

09:30 – 10:20h, Auditorium A, Level 0.

Founding WCGIC Chair, Eric Van Cutsem, University Hospital Gasthuisberg (Leuven, Belgium), and Vice Chair, Michel Ducreux, Institut Gustave Roussy (Paris, France), will first invite Josep Tabernero, WCGIC Chair and VHIO’s Director, to take center stage to deliver his Keynote Lecture  on New Mechanistic Opportunities for Antibodies (09:30 – 09:55h).

Following this talk, the day’s second Keynote Speaker, Andrea Sartore-Bianchi, Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda, Università degli Studi di Milano (Milan, Italy), will then present her expert Keynote on Targeting the HER-2 Pathway in GI Cancer (09:55 – 10:20h).

Realizing Improved Outcomes in HER2-Positive Gastrointestinal Cancers: New Evidence and Practical Guidance with Targeted Agents.

13:40 – 15:10h, Rooms 111-112, Level 1.

Co-Chair Elena Élez, a Clinical Investigator and Medical Oncologist of our Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Tumors Group, will commence this Symposium with pre-seminar preparation through her talk on Setting Standards for HER2-Positive GI Cancers (13:40 –13:55h), followed by the two session expert talks.

Co-Chair Yelena Y. Janjigian, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Canter – MSKCC (New York, USA), will update delegates on personalized care for HER2-positive gastric/GEJ cancer based on the latest evidence (13:55 – 14:25h), followed by Elena who will present on current and future directions of HER2-targeted therapy in colorectal and other GI tumor types (14:25 – 14:55h).

This session will close with a Symposium summary and audience Q&A moderated by the two seminar Chairs.

See the Difference: Clinical Implications of BRAFV600E-mutant Metastatic CRC.

13:40 – 15:10h, Rooms 115 – 116, Level 1.

Chaired by Josep Tabernero, this session will begin with his presentation on One Size Does Not Fit All – Understanding the Difference (13:45 –13:55h), followed by Clinical Conversations: Case-based Discussion to Optimize the Management of BRAFV600E-mutant Metastatic CRC (13:55 – 15:05h).

Promising highly interactive exchange and debate, these discussions will be moderated by Josep who will be joined by Session Panelists Chiara Cremolini, Università di Pisa (Italy), Sebastian Stintzing, Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin (Germany), and Julien Taieb, Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou (Paris, France).

Session XVII: Immune Mechanisms and Immunotherapy

17:00 – 18:05h, Auditorium A, Level 0.

Friday’s penultimate session, co-chaired by Mario A. Dicato, Luxembourg Medical Center, and Markus Moehler, Universitätsmedizin Mainz (Germany), will open with an expert talk exploring immune mechanisms and novel targets, followed by the presentation of three selected abstracts on the identification and quantification of the microbiome in colorectal cancer metastases; microbiome signature, global methylation and immune landscape in early onset CRC; and gut microbiome characterization and correlation with colonoscopy findings in oncological and non-oncological patients from a Chilean cancer center.

This session will close with VHIO’s Elena Élez who will deliver her invited talk on the Microbiome and Colorectal Cancer (17:44 – 18:05h).

  • Saturday 02 July

Session XIX: Presentation of Selected Abstracts on GI Cancer

08:15 – 09:25h, Auditorium B, Level 0.

Saturday’s sessions will begin with the presentation and expert discussion of six selected abstracts, including one late-breaker. This session will be co-chaired by Congress Chair, Josep Tabernero, and Pierre Laurent-Puig, Université de Paris (France).

The first selected study will be presented as a Short Oral (08:15 – 08:23h) by Elena Garralda, Director of VHIO’s Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer (UITM) – CaixaResearch, and discussed by Juan Manuel O’Connor, Instituto Alexander Fleming (Buenos Aires, Argentina):

SO-31: Long-term efficacy and safety of larotrectinib in patients with tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) fusion gastrointestinal (GI) cancer: An expanded dataset.


Session XXII: Colorectal Cancer: Metastatic Disease

09:30 – 13:15h, Auditorium A, Level 0.


Co-chaired by Founding Congress Chair, Eric Van Cutsem, and Pia Osterlund, this session comprises expert talks, late-breakers, oral presentations and short oral talks.

Among these, the following abstract, first authored by VHIO’s Elena Élez and co-authored by other investigators at our Institute, has been selected as an oral presentation by senior author, Rodrigo A. Toledo, a Translational Investigator of our Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Tumors Group:

O-8: Association of MSS/MSI-RNF43 molecular subtypes and clinical outcome of metastatic BRAF-V600E colorectal cancer patients treated with anti-BRAF/EGFR ± combinatorial therapies.

Time of this Oral Presentation: 10:50 – 11:02h.

In addition to these highlighted sessions and selected studies, VHIO investigators have also co-authored 2 late-breakers, 3 other short oral presentations, first/co-authored 3 posters selected for poster discussions, and 14 posters that will be presented throughout the Congress during the Breaks and dedicated Poster Viewing slots.

To access ESMO’s pick of program highlights and browse WCGIC 2022’s Scientific Program please visit: https://www.worldgicancer.com/agenda.