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Symposium Speaker biographies

Eric Van Cutsem, MD, PhD

Division of Digestive Oncology, University Hospitals Leuven and KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Eric Van Cutsem has been Full Professor at the University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, since 2000. He is also Head of the Division of Digestive Oncology at the University Hospitals Gasthuisberg Leuven (UZ Leuven) and the University of Leuven (KUL), a board member of Department of Oncology at the University of Leuven, a board member and secretary of the Leuven Cancer Institute (LKI), and Medical Director of Europacolon (a patient advocacy group). Professor Van Cutsem earned his medical degree in 1983 from the University of Leuven, specializing in internal medicine and gastroenterology, and was awarded his PhD there in 1994.

Over the years, Professor Van Cutsem has held various positions, from committee member to executive board member or chairman, in several scientific organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), United European Gastroenterology (UEG), the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO), European Society of Digestive Oncology (ESDO), European Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (ENETS), and the Belgian Group Digestive Oncology (BGDO). He has also been a member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine since 2015 and President of the Belgian Foundation Against Cancer since October 2016. Moreover, Professor Van Cutsem coordinates several European and worldwide trials investigating new drugs for gastrointestinal (GI) cancer and serves on many steering committees and advisory boards.

Professor Van Cutsem has published several chapters in books on GI cancer and more than 460 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Lancet Oncology, JAMA, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, Annals of Oncology, British Journal of Cancer, and Gastroenterology. The H-factor of his publications is 94, and his publications have been cited more than 41,500 times.


Florian Lordick, MD, PhD

University Cancer Center Leipzig (UCCL), Leipzig, Germany

Florian Lordick is Professor of Oncology and Director of the University Cancer Centre Leipzig (UCCL) at the University Hospital Leipzig in Germany. Professor Lordick completed his medical training at the Universities of Regensburg and Munich in Germany and Lausanne in Switzerland. He gained board certifications in internal medicine, haematology, and medical oncology, and in 2002 was appointed Consultant Physician at the Technical University of Munich. In July 2007, he was nominated Assistant Professor and Head of the Outpatient Department at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg, Germany; in 2009, he was appointed Head of Haematology and Oncology at the Klinikum Braunschweig in Braunschweig, Germany, and Associate Professor at Hannover Medical School (MHH) in Hannover, Germany. He took up his current posts as Full Professor at the University of Leipzig and Director of the UCCL in 2012.

Professor Lordick is a member of the Board of Directors of the German Cancer Society (DKG) and Secretary of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Gastrointestinal Tract Cancer Group. In 2015, he was elected as incoming President of the International Gastric Cancer Association (IGCA) and as Congress Chair of the 2019 International Gastric Cancer Congress (IGCC), to be held in Prague, Czech Republic. Since 2017, Professor Lordick is Coordinator of the Gastrointestinal Tumours faculty of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO).

Professor Lordick’s scientific focus is on clinical and translational research in gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, the optimization of multimodal care, new drug development, molecular imaging, and response prediction. He has authored or co-authored more than 225 articles on GI cancer; he is co-editor of a number of important international oncology journals and a reviewer for international and national research and funding societies.


Naureen Starling, BSc(Hons), MBBS, MRCP, MD(Res)

Department of Medical Oncology, The Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK

Naureen Starling is Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK, specializing in the treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, and a Senior Lecturer (honorary faculty) within the Division of Clinical Studies at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London. She graduated from University College London with First Class Honours in physiology (BSc) and distinctions in clinical pharmacology/therapeutics and pathology. She undertook general medical training at University College Hospital and Northwick Park/St Mark’s Hospitals, all in London, and specialist training in medical oncology at The Royal Marsden Hospital. Her postgraduate degree at the ICR focused on the genomics and therapeutics of oesophageal cancer.  

Her research interests in gastrointestinal cancers (oesophageal, gastric, pancreatic, neuroendocrine, and colorectal) are focussed on earlier-phase clinical trials, novel therapeutics, and the delivery of individualized medicine to patients with GI cancers. Dr Starling is the Principal Investigator on numerous international clinical trials of novel drugs in oesophago-gastric, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer and a member several multicentre clinical trial steering and safety review committees. 

Dr Starling is Associate Director of Clinical Research at the Royal Marsden Hospital, the Clinical Lead for the Royal Marsden’s West Wing Clinical Research Centre, and the Upper GI Lead for the South London Cancer Research Network, and she serves on the UK National Cancer Research Institute oesophago-gastric subgroup and on the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) Oesophago-gastric Cancer Guideline Committee. Dr Starling also holds educational roles including the NIHR Training Lead for the RM/ICR National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre and Deputy Training Program Director (one of three) for South London Medial Oncology Training.


Nicole van Grieken, MD, PhD

Department of Pathology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Nicole van Grieken is a surgical pathologist specializing in gastrointestinal (GI) pathology, hereditary tumours, and hepatobiliary pathology. Dr van Grieken gained her PhD on morphological and chromosomal alterations in gastric carcinogenesis in 2003, and her MD in 2004; she commenced training in surgical pathology in Amsterdam and Haarlem, the Netherlands, in 2004. She is now a staff member in the Department of Pathology at the VU University Medical Center (VUmc) in Amsterdam, a post she has held since 2009.

Dr van Grieken has a special interest in translational research on GI oncology, particularly gastro-oesophageal cancer. Her main scientific interest is in the identification of molecular alterations that can serve as prognostic and predictive biomarkers, with the aim of developing personalized therapies adapted to individual patient or tumour characteristics. She is responsible for the central pathology review and translational research programme of several clinical trials on gastric and colorectal cancer. She is committed to improving the quality of patient care by participating in guideline development for gastric and oesophageal cancer.

Dr van Grieken is secretary and board member of the Dutch Upper GI Cancer Group (DUCG) and a member of the scientific committee of the Dutch Upper GI Cancer Audit (DUCA). She has published many peer-reviewed articles in journals including The Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Gastroenterology, Journal of Medical Genetics, Oncogenesis, Journal of Pathology, and British Journal of Cancer.


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ECCO2017 symposium webcast: Treatment evolution in advanced GI malignancies

Welcome and introduction - Florian Lordick

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