Highlights from ESMO 2019

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Published: 4 Oct 2019
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Prof Josep Tabernero - ESMO President

Prof Josep Tabernero speaks to ecancer at ESMO 2019 in Barcelona about the highlights from this year's conference.

He mentions the latest advances presented in prostate (PROfound) ovarian (PAOLA-1/ENGOT-ov25), breast, (MONALEESA-3 and MONARCH-2) and lung cancer (CheckMate-227).

Prof Taberero also states that there have been several sessions in the public policy area at this year's conference.

He also acknowledges the important collaborators that ESMO have worked with this year - including EACR and EONS.

ecancer's filming has been kindly supported by Amgen through the ecancer Global Foundation. ecancer is editorially independent and there is no influence over content.


We are really very happy because on this 2019 ESMO congress held in Barcelona we have around 30,000 attendees and this is a record in our files. But, more importantly, it’s not attendance but also the quality. The quality of the congress is really very good. We have had so many presentations, actually more than 2,000 presentations, but more than 100 late breaking abstracts. At the end we have been able to set three Presidential sessions that are going to show important data in the field of ovarian cancer with PARP inhibitors, in the first line setting and in the maintenance setting; also in the field of breast cancer; very interesting data on lung cancer with combination immunotherapy in the first line setting; also new data or updated data on survival for osimertinib in patients with EGFR mutations.

But also we are going to be seeing important data in other diseases. So for the first time we’re going to have a presentation on personalised treatment in patients with biliary tract cancer that have the IDH1 mutation showing an advantage in survival in this particular population. Also very interesting data in breast cancer with immunotherapy and also with new data of CDK inhibitors among others.

So the scientific contribution is really very good; on top of that we have a very important educational programme. More importantly, or also importantly as well, several sessions in the policy area that as you know, this is very important and it’s in the heart of ESMO - trying to get the best treatment care for our patients in a sustainable way. So we covered this holistic view of oncology, not only new data but also collaboration with many different professionals. Here we are organising the meeting with the partnership of EACR and the collaboration of EONS, so the nursing society. We are really very happy and very proud of that because if we try to do the best for our patients we have to work altogether.