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ESMO 2018 Presidential Symposium – IMpassion130: Atezolizumab in triple negative breast cancer

The IMpassion130 trial was a global, randomized, double-blind, Phase III study of Atezolizumab + nab-paclitaxel vs. placebo + nab-paclitaxel in treatment naïve locally advanced or metastatic triple negative breast cancer patients. Here, progression free survival was statistically significantly longer in patients treated with the combination of Atezolizumab + nab-paclitaxel compared to placebo + nab-paclitaxel. The side effect profile was favorable as no unexpected toxicities were observed in...


ESMO 2018 Presidential Symposium: radiotherapy to the primary tumor in metastatic prostate cancer

Radiotherapy to the primary tumor has been a controversially discussed intervention in patients with newly diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer. Results of the STAMPEDE trial indicate that overall no survival advantage can be achieved by the addition of radiotherapy however subgroups might actually have a benefit. Here, patients with low volume, oligometastatic disease were shown to benefit in a predefined subgroup analysis. In this podcast, Dr. Parker provides insight on the practice...


The Metastatic Breast Cancer project: a novel patient-partnered initiative

In this podcast, Marina Parry, ESMO Open Digital Editor, speaks to Elana Anastasio, Partnership Outreach Manager, and Brett Tomson, Scientific Outreach Manager, both from the Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Project team at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. The MBCproject is a novel model of a patient-partnered initiative whose aim is to accelerate the understanding of metastatic breast cancer by generating a massive open database of genomic information...


Biosimilars in oncology

Biosimilars will soon become broadly available in the oncology field, raising important questions from both patients and healthcare providers. These questions need to be clarified upfront, in order to increase confidence in using these therapies. In this podcast, Teresa Amaral (YOC member) talks to Professor Josep Tabernero (ESMO President and Director of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) in Barcelona about this timely topic – Biosimilars in Oncology. Read the full Abstract on...


Tumor evolution in non-small-cell lung cancer

In this podcast, Marina Parry, ESMO Open Digital Editor, speaks to Nicholas McGranahan, Junior Group Leader of the Cancer Genome Evolution Group at University College London’s Cancer Institute about the role of bioinformatics in translating genomics research into the clinic and his most recent paper “Allele-Specific HLA Loss and Immune Escape in Lung Cancer Evolution”, Cell, 2017 Read the full Abstract on the ESMO Open website.


Immune checkpoint inhibitors for every non-small cell lung cancer patient

Several phase III trials on immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy in non-small cell lung cancer were recently published and changed the clinical practice Here, non-small cell lung cancer has to be categorized first according to the presence of activating mutations and second according to the programmed cell death ligand 1 (PDL1) expression. Approximately 25% of patients present with a driver mutation and should be treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors as the first line treatment strategy for...


Epigenetic Biomarkers in Cancer

Epigenetic biomarkers are emerging across tumor types in cancer research. Aberrant DNA methylation in tumors results in silencing of distinct genes. This modification is very stable and therefore can reliably be assessed and used as a diagnostic but also prognostic biomarker. Recently, DNA methylation was validated as an additional diagnostic biomarker in brain tumors. Here, the methylation profile allowed precise clinical diagnosis associated with the survival prognosis. Therefore, the...


Questions asked in everyday practice: Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Immunotherapy has been approved for several indications in Oncology, resulting in an increasing number of physicians that use it to treat their patients. In this podcast, Teresa Amaral, member of the ESMO YOC, interviews Professor John Haanen (Head of the Division of Medical Oncology and Staff Scientist in the Division of Immunology; Professor of Translational Immunotherapy of Cancer at Leiden University Medical Centre, the Netherlands) on the topic: “Questions asked in everyday practice:...


Macrophage repolarization therapy in colorectal cancer

Although highly successful in other entities, immune checkpoint inhibition has so far only shown limited efficacy in an unselected population of colorectal cancer patients. The particular composition of the inflammatory microenvironment of colorectal cancer, characterized by a low density of tumor-infiltrating-lymphocytes and no PDL1 expression on the tumor cells, might explain this resistance. Indeed, colorectal cancer with microsatellite instability responds much better to immune...


New therapeutic anti-CEA anti-CD3 bispecific antibody in colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer has a strong interaction with the immune system as underlined by the high prognostic impact of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in the tumor core as well as the infiltration margin in the localized setting. However in the metastatic scenario the vast majority of these tumors - the 95% lacking deficiencies in the missmatch repair sustem- demonstrated to be immune-elusive. The new therapeutic bispecific anti-CEA anti CD3 antidobody CEA-TCB is therefore a new, promising immune...


Recent advances in adjuvant therapy for melanoma patients

In the last decade, we have seen a significant change in the therapeutic landscape for advanced melanoma. Recently, results from two trials evaluating immunotherapy and targeted therapy in the adjuvant setting (completely resected stage III/IV) were published. In this podcast, Teresa Amaral, member of the ESMO YOC, talks with Professor Jeffrey Weber, Professor of Oncology and Deputy Director of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, about the recent developments in adjuvant therapies...


New therapeutic targets in the inflammatory microenvironment

In this podcast, Editor Anna Berghoff speaks to Professor Eric Tartour (Department of Immunology; Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou) about new therapeutic targets in the inflammatory microenvironment. The introduction of immune checkpoint inhibitors introduced a new era of oncology. The CTLA4 or PD1/PDL1 axis targeting immune checkpoint inhibitors have shown remarkable and long lasting responses in a variety of tumor types, Here, the biology of immune checkpoint inhibitors is outlined...


Immunotherapy in lung cancer

Immune Checkpoint inhibitors have become an important treatment option in patients with metastatic lung cancer. This podcast gives an overview on the current evidence of immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Based on the phase III data, patients with PDL1 expression >50% are candidates for 1st line pembrolizumab if there are no contraindications. Currently, PDL1 expression as assessed by immunohistochemistry is the most validated biomarker although other...


ESMO Leaders Generation Programme – an alumni insight

Several alumni of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Leaders Generation Programme introduce the scope, aims and goals of the program. The ESMO Leaders Generation Programme was designed to shape the future of the oncology profession as well as the future of ESMO. This exciting and intensive course has been specifically created for young oncologists to provide them a specific training needed for future leadership. Covered topics include ESMO and the world of oncology as well as...


Heterogeneity of colon cancer: from bench to bedside

Professor Marco Merlano, Oncology Department Santa Croce e Carle, General Hospital, Italy, is the leading author of the ESMO Open article ‘Heterogeneity of colon cancer: from bench to bedside’, summarised in this podcast. Abstract The large bowel shows biomolecular, anatomical and bacterial changes that proceed from the proximal to the distal tract. These changes account for the different behaviour of colon cancers arising from the diverse sides of the colon–rectum as well as for the...


ASCO - Practice changing studies in gastrointestinal cancer

In this podcast new, practice-changing research in gastrointestinal (GI) cancer is considered. Clinical trials focusing on immunotherapies presented at the recent ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco are discussed. Highlights include reports of the ONO-4538 study, in which pretreated gastric cancer patients were randomized to receive either nivolumab or best supportive care, and of the CheckMate 040 study in which pretreated patients with hepatocellular carcinoma received...


New horizons in breast cancer therapy - ESMO congress, ASCO and San Antonio Symposium’s highlights

Elżbieta Senkus, Medical University of Gdansk, Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Gdańsk, Poland, ( presents an overview of new therapies on the horizon for breast cancer in terms of data presented at the ESMO Congress, ASCO, and the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. In the adjuvant setting, results from the MINDACT trial, which evaluated genomic versus clinical assessment for risk stratification, are described. Data on the role of anthracyclines in adjuvant...


Tumor Network in Glioma

In this podcast a new biological insight in brain tumors is discussed by Frank Winkler, DKFZ, CCU Neurooncology, Heidelberg, Germany ( The author’s group has identified the existence of a tumor cell network in incurable gliomas which facilitates multicellular communication and exchange of small molecules between single tumor cells. The tumor cells that are integrated in this network, around 50% of cells according to studies in mouse models and patient samples, appear to be...


Highlights in breast cancer from ASCO 2016

A critical review of the highlights in breast cancer research from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting 2016, held in June 2016 in Chicago, is presented in this podcast by Fatima Cardoso, Breast Unit, Champalimaud Clinical Center, Lisbon, Portugal ( Considering the most interesting and practice-changing studies reported at the meeting, in the advanced breast cancer setting several important confirmatory studies on the use of CDK...


ASCO Highlights podcast: Head and neck cancers

These highlights are presented by Marco Merlano, Department of Medical Oncology, Santa Croce General Hospital, Cuneo, Italy,( A critical review of the head and neck cancer research highlights of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting 2016, held in June 2016 in Chicago, is presented in this podcast. Considering the most interesting and practice-changing trials reported at the meeting, the key trial comparing gemcitabine plus cisplatin against 5-FU plus...