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Letter from the Editor

Dr Stefan Rauh, Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch, Luxembourg
ASCO GI 2023
Dear reader,

I’m delighted to introduce our congress report of this year’s ASCO GI, which took place from January 19–21 in San Francisco.

Here’s just some picks I’d like to highlight:

Claudin 18.2 is a new target in the fast-expanding range of treatments for advanced gastric cancer. In strong expressing tumours, adding the targeting monoclonal antibody to standard chemotherapy significantly improved progression free survival (and even overall survival, which was however not a primary endpoint) in a randomized, phase 3 study. More good news: strong CLDN 18.2 expression was observed in roughly a third of all screened patients.

Are we getting closer to “warming up” “cold” colorectal cancers? The combination of a Fc-enhanced CTLA-4 blocker and a PD-1 inhibitor showed a respectable response rate in heavily pretreated patients with metastatic, microsatellite stable, colorectal cancer. Sure, it’s a phase 1 study. Still very intriguing – and confirmatory phase 1 and 3 studies are on their way.

And will surgeons soon get out of business? The OPERA study provides increasing evidence that some patients with localised/locally advanced rectum cancer may be spared surgery when in remission after chemo radiotherapy – truly potentially practice changing.

I won’t reveal everything to you. Check out our congress report in detail for more. Enjoy our briefing!

Yours sincerely

Stefan Rauh

Dr Stefan Rauh is currently working as haematooncologist 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 coauthor 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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