The Advances in Gastrointestinal Cancer Resource Centre Introduction
The Advances in Gastrointestinal Cancer Resource Centre is dedicated to disseminating cutting edge data to practising healthcare professionals. Our aim is to provide clinically relevant information in order to enhance the caregivers' ability to provide optimal care for their gastrointestinal (GI) cancer patients. We will offer journal articles, patient case reports, interviews, and roundtable discussions with experts, with additional content aimed at expanding your expertise in the multidisciplinary field of GI cancer. This freely available resource, hosted by European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Colorectal Cancer, will function as a hub of information for healthcare professionals. 

Our initial focus for Advances in Gastrointestinal Cancer will centre on gastric cancer, with future expansion to all GI malignancies. New content will be posted monthly, and the Editors encourage you to visit the site regularly to stay abreast of recent scientific developments in GI cancers. Please subscribe to our eAlert to ensure you are informed of all new content as it is published on this platform.

Articles of the Month

Multicentre study of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for stage I and II oesophageal cancer

Br J Surg. 2016 Apr 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Selected and commented by Professor David Cunningham:

This month, there are a number of interesting studies published relating to the neoadjuvant treatment of oesophageal cancer. In the British Journal of Surgery, Bekkar et al. present the results of a large retrospective European study on the effects of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy on Stage I and II oesophageal cancer, a group of patients which are less well represented in clinical trials. Using propensity matched scoring to adjust for differences in baseline characteristics, they demonstrate that patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (typically cisplatin and fluoropyrimidine based) had better disease free and overall survival compared to those who did not receive pre-operative chemotherapy. The improvement in overall survival appeared to be driven by a reduction in distant metastases (21.9% vs. 27.1%; p = 0·035) as loco-regional recurrences and mixed recurrences occurred at similar rates in both groups. The study emphasised that understaging is common in patients with clinical Stage I and II disease, almost one third of patients had pathological stage III disease at surgery. This further supports a neo-adjuvant chemotherapy approach as micrometastases which lead to recurrence are more common in Stage III cancers and these may be eliminated by chemotherapy.

Clinical T2N0 Esophageal Cancer: Identifying Pretreatment Characteristics Associated With Pathologic Upstaging and the Potential Role for Induction Therapy

Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Apr 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Selected and commented by Professor David Cunningham:

The implications of understaging are also highlighted in a manuscript by Samson et al. in Annals of Thoracic Surgery. The authors reviewed the cases of 932 clinically stage T2N0 patients who received upfront surgery, and 853 clinical T2N0 patients who received induction therapy prior to surgery. Almost half (45.7%) of patients who underwent upfront surgery were upstaged at surgery, of these 44.2% received adjuvant chemotherapy. For patients upstaged at upfront resection median overall survival was worse than for patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (43.9 months versus 27.5 months, p < 0.001), however this difference was mitigated in patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy following upfront surgery (43.8 months versus 34.6 months, p = 0.14). However, as approximately half of patients do not have a performance status sufficient to allow safe delivery of adjuvant therapy following oesophagogastrectomy, neoadjuvant treatment is likely to be helpful for a greater number of patients.

Latest Articles

Interviews from The European Cancer Congress, Vienna, September, 2015

  • Treatment of Localised Gastric Cancer - news from the ECC Congress in Vienna, September 2015

    Professor Lordick introduces news and his personal highlights from the recent European Cancer Congress 2015 which took place in Vienna, Austria, 25-29.  Highlights include the symposium, The why, the which, and the how of targeting angiogenesis in GI malignancies and a topic of particular interest was the peri-operative chemotherapy of locally advanced gastric cancer.

  • Professor Trevor Leong discusses TOPGEAR Trial at ECC, Vienna, 2015

    Professor Trevor Leong discusses a randomised trial, TOPGEAR, which compares pre-operative chemo-radiation with pre-operative chemotherapy alone for patients with resectable gastric cancer. The background of this trial is that currently the optimal adjuvant strategy for patients with gastric cancer is unknown. In Western countries there are two standards of care. There is either postoperative chemo radiation or peri-operative chemotherapy using ECF. So what this trial does is it compares chemo radiation to chemotherapy alone in the adjuvant setting but with the advantage of bringing the chemo radiation in the pre-operative setting which has a lot of advantages compared to post-operative treatment.


Professor Florian Lordick

University Hospital Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

Dr Ian Chau

Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, UK

Professor David Cunningham

Director of the Royal Marsden/Institute of Cancer Research NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and Director of Clinical Research

Dr James J. Lee

Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, UPMC Cancer Centre, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Dr Elizabeth Smyth

University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

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Featured Content

  • ECC Symposium: The why, the which, and the how of targeting angiogenesis in GI malignancies

    Official Sponsored Satellite Symposium at European Cancer Congress 2015 - Monday 28 September 2015

This online Resource Centre has been sponsored by Lilly Oncology

Note that Lilly Oncology has no editorial control over the content of this Resource Centre. The Resource Centre and all content therein has been subject to an independent editorial review.