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Letter from the Editor

Dr Stefan Rauh, Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch, Luxembourg
ESMO 2020
Dear Reader,

I am delighted to introduce this year’s Medicom ESMO Annual Congress report.

In case anyone had doubts that participants in former years rather attended due to Madrid’s clement climate and gastronomy - this viral-cursed 2020 edition proved otherwise: all virtual, the conference “still” boasts over 30,000 registrants from more than 150 countries and featured 2,137 (including 87 late-breaking) abstracts with 12 simultaneous publications in major peer-reviewed journals (as well as the educational presentations).

There’s news: CDK4/6 inhibitors entering adjuvant treatment in early breast cancer, as well as a long-awaited new treatment option – a monoclonal antibody conjugate – in the poor prognosis triple negative metastatic breast cancer (mTNBC).

You may lose some certainties: How valuable is check-point inhibition in mTNBC? Is intensive surveillance (often a standard) in resected colorectal cancer really worth it? (disturbing, indeed: Will we not miss resectable recurrence with minimal follow-up?). And, here we are again: Post-operative radiotherapy (PORT) in locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer still doesn’t seem to add value, even with modern techniques for imaging and treatment delivery…

There are new “targeting” options in endometrial, prostate and other cancers.

Please have a close look at the BIONIKK study, identifying 4 different disease groups according to a 35-gene signature which seems to allow a rather clear choice of the best treatment in metastatic renal cancer.

Finally, our knowledge of the fate of cancer patients in the context of COVID 19 is improving – somewhat, as risk factors become clearer.

Well, this is only a small sample of our review’s sample.


Enjoy the read,

Keep in good health,

Let’s hope for less virtual times,


Yours, sincerely

Stefan Rauh


PS: As in previous years, you will be able to access all presentations in detail via esmo.org


Dr Stefan Rauh is currently working as haemato-oncologist in the oncology department of Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch, Esch, Luxembourg. He is mainly involved in clinical work but also in research and teaching activities and is interested in public policy and international cooperation projects in oncology. He is member of the ESMO Practicing Oncologist’s Working Group since 2011 (chair 2014-2018), member of the ESMO Public Policy Committee, and has been an ESMO Executive Board member in 2015-2016. He is co-author of the 2017 ESMO European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) Patient Survivorship Guide and an invited expert for the ECPC.

Conflict of Interest Statement: Nothing to declare.

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