EORTC clinical research on the Gastrointestinal tract focuses on expanding what we know about the genetic, epigenetic and immunologic backgrounds of gastrointestinal tumour diseases. Clinical trials in this field focus on preclinical to clinical interaction and integrating early drug development, ensuring that new aspects of tumour biology are being investigated with appropriate contemporary technology.

The mission of the GI group is to develop therapeutic strategies through innovative studies, which are multidisciplinary, patient-centered and have a strong translational focus. It responds to the evolving landscape of cancer research by expanding its collaboration with different cancer research networks from Europe and Asia, enriching its pool of multidisciplinary experts and redesigning its young investigator’s program to enable future leaders to be at the forefront of GI cancer research.

Main Achievements

  • Several Task Forces of the Group were restructured to encourage greater activity and adapt to the virtual meeting environment:
    • The Hepatobiliary, Pancreatic cancer, and Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) Task Force was split into Hepatobiliary and NETs Task Force on one side, and Pancreatic cancer Task Force on the other, allowing for more focussed discussion groups.
    • The Colorectal cancer and Anal & Rectal cancer Task Forces were merged in order to harmonise study proposal development.
  • Out of 11 applicants to the 2021 call for applications, four Young and Early Career Investigators were selected for developing a research project with a grant from the GITCG.
  • The publication reporting on early-onset colorectal cancer (Fontana E et al, JCO 2021) was selected for Rapid Communication in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Published joint Clinical Practice Guidelines on the management of hepatocellular carcinoma with the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) ; . These define the use of surveillance, diagnosis and therapeutic strategies recommended for patients with HCC.

The CLOCC randomised controlled phase II study performed in patients with liver metastases from colorectal cancer suggests that radiofrequency ablation of liver lesions prolongs survival . Based on these findings, the group is now starting a study combining this approach with immunotherapy (ILOC study).

Long-term follow up data in the EPOC randomised controlled phase III study confirm the significant improvement in progression-free survival of perioperative chemotherapy in resectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer.

Related Projects

European Reference Networks (ERN) for rare solid tumours (EURACAN). EURACAN is involving references centers in Europe covering ten types of rare cancers. EURACAN will improve patient cares and facilitate research in rare cancers. EORTC is providing the clinical research infrastructure. (No website available yet)

Research Group

Group documents
  • Chair

    Elizabeth Smyth

    University of Oxford

    Oxford, United Kingdom

  • Secretary

    Francesco Sclafani

    Institut Jules Bordet-Hopital Universitaire ULB

    Brussels, Belgium

  • Treasurer

    Manfred Lutz

    CaritasKlinikum Saarbruecken St Theresia

    Saarbrucken, Germany

  • Young Investigator Program

    Hanneke van Laarhoven

    Amsterdam UMC - locatie VUMC

    Amsterdam, Netherlands

Task Force - Colorectal/Anal canal

  • T. Kössler - Geneve, CH

    Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève - HUG - site de Cluse-Roseraie

  • F. Sclafani - Brussels, BE

    Institut Jules Bordet-Hopital Universitaire ULB

  • D. Arnold - Hambourg, DE

    Asklepios Tumorzentrum

Task Force - Esophagus and Stomach

  • E. Smyth - Oxford, GB

    University of Oxford

  • A. Wagner - Lausanne, CH

    Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois

Task Force - Hepatobiliary, Pancreas and NETs

  • L. Rimassa - Milan, IT

    Instituto Clinico Humanitas

  • A. Lamarca - Madrid, ES

    Hospital Universitario Fundacion Jimenez Dias

Task Force - Translational Research

  • H. Grabsch - Maastricht, NL

    Academisch Ziekenhuis Maastricht

Task Force - SPECTA and early phase trials

  • R. Obermannova - Brno, CZ

    Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute

  • M. Alsina - Barcelona, ES

    Vall d'Hebron Institut d'oncologia

Task Force - Adolescents and Young Adults

  • I. Ben-Aharon - Tel Aviv, IL

    Rabin Medical Center - Tel Aviv University

Task Force - St. Gallen Meetings & Membership

  • M. Lutz - Saarbrucken, DE

    CaritasKlinikum Saarbruecken St Theresia

Task Force - Young Investigator Program

  • H. van Laarhoven - Amsterdam, NL

    Amsterdam UMC - locatie VUMC

  • M. Ducreux - Villejuif, FR

    Institut Gustave Roussy

Task Force Newsletter

  • A. Elme - Tallinn, EE

    North Estonia Medical Centre

Go to Top