Esmo Open



ESMO Open is the European Society for Medical Oncologys online-only, peer-reviewed Open Access journal, dedicated to publishing high-quality medical research and educational content from all disciplines of oncology, with a focus on innovative clinical and translational cancer research. The journal is published by BMJ on behalf of ESMO.


  • ESMO-Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale (V1.1) for early breast cancer therapies

    20/07/2020 Duration: 15min

    We evaluated the applicability of the scale and assessed the reasonableness of the generated scores in early breast cancer. Form 1 of the ESMO-MCBS v1.1 provided a generally robust tool for scoring of adjuvant breast cancer studies. Six shortcomings were identified including lack of information regarding acute and long-term toxicity, an inability to grade single arm de-escalation scales and limitations related to grading based on disease free survival (DFS). Read the paper on the ESMO Open website:

  • ESMO-Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale of adjuvant colon cancer trials and meta-analyses

    28/06/2020 Duration: 07min

    Form 1 of the European Society for Medical Oncology-Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale (ESMO-MCBS) serves to grade therapies with curative intent. Form 1 provided very reasonable grading and expert field testers confirmed the reasonableness of generated scores. Exploratory toxicity evaluation and annotation was feasible but problematic given inconsistent toxicity reporting and limited results of late toxicity. Moreover, the experts identified the inability of crediting improved convenience in non-inferiority trials as a shortcoming. Future revisions of Form 1 of the ESMO-MCBS will be cognoscente of these findings. Read the paper on the ESMO Open website:

  • Adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapies in melanoma

    04/06/2020 Duration: 12min

    The therapeutic landscape in melanoma is evolving rapidly. In this podcast, Jonathan Lim (a member of the ESMO Young Oncologists Committee) interviews Dr Teresa Amaral (the current chair of the ESMO Young Oncologists Committee and an expert in melanoma) for an update on the current practice and advances in adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapies in melanoma. Dr Amaral summarises key practice-changing studies which have established the current recommendations in this field, including CheckMate 238, KEYNOTE 054, COMBI-AD, Combi-Neo, NeoCombi and opACIN-neo. We also deliberated on the toxicity profile of these therapies, and currently available evidence of neoadjuvant versus adjuvant therapies. Finally, we addressed how COVID-19 has affected the delivery of adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapies in patients with melanoma. Further reading: CheckMate 238 – KEYNOTE 054 – EORTC18071 – Mixture-Cure Mode

  • Emerging targets in cancer immunotherapy

    05/04/2020 Duration: 07min

    The advent of cancer immunotherapy has radically changed the field of oncology by improving the way many malignancies, including several aggressive and orphan diseases, are being treated with subsequent major improvement of patients’ prognosis. The first crucial and successful step in the field was the development of agents able to inactivate inhibitory immune receptors resulting in a subsequent increased anti-tumor response. Among them, antibodies blocking CTLA-4 (ipilimumab) and PD-1/PD-L1 (nivolumab, pembrolizumab, atezolizumab and durvalumab) are already widely available in clinical practice. More recently, to further improve the ability of the immune system to eradicate cancer cells, several other stimulatory or inhibitory molecules have been recognized as possible targets. ESMO Open has launched a special series of mini-reviews aiming to provide an update of the most interesting and upcoming targets in cancer immunotherapy including LAG3, TIM3, CD40, B7x, OX40, ICOS, VISTA, CD27, GITR and neoantigens. A

  • News in breast cancer 2019

    05/04/2020 Duration: 13min

    Anna Berghof talks to Matteo Lambertini - Department of Medical Oncology, U.O.C. Clinica di Oncologia Medica, IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genova, Italy. The year 2019 has brought relevant new biological and clinical evidence to further improve the care of breast cancer patients. Regarding biological knowledge, in addition to the many important steps forward in enhancing the understanding of several aspects related to tumor biology and treatment resistance, more predictive biomarkers have entered clinical use. In addition to knowing the status of hormone receptors and HER2, other biomarkers should now be tested in different disease subtypes and clinical situations including PD-L1, PIK3CA mutations and germline BRCA mutations. The clinical management of breast cancer patients has also significantly changed. Important evidence has become available to further personalize the choices of the best chemotherapy, endocrine treatment and targeted therapy approaches in both the advanced and early settings.

  • Cancer care during the spread of Covid-19 in Italy: a young oncologist's perspective

    25/03/2020 Duration: 10min

    The Covid-19 pandemic is currently active all over Europe and especially in Italy. In this podcast Anna Berghof discusses with Matteo Lambertini - Department of Medical Oncology, U.O.C. Clinica di Oncologia Medica, IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genova, Italy - the difficulties of cancer treatment during this pandemic. Read the editorial:

  • ESMO Presidential Symposium: ClarIDHy - ivosidenib in patients with advanced cholangiocarcinoma

    12/02/2020 Duration: 07min

    Advanced cholangiocarcinoma is associated with a particular impaired survival prognosis. So far targeted therapies with relevant clinical efficacy are missing. isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) mutations are observed in a fraction of patients with cholangiocarcinoma. The ClarIDHy, a global, phase III, randomized, double-blind study of ivosidenib ersus placebo in patients with advanced cholangiocarcinoma with an IDH1 mutation met its primary endpoint. Therefore, ivosidenib is a promising new treatment opportunity in patients with Advanced cholangiocarcinoma harboring an IDH1 mutation.

  • News on the horizon in glioblastoma therapy

    29/01/2020 Duration: 12min

    Glioblastoma is the most frequent primary malignant brain tumor in adults. Methylation of the O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promotor is of prognostic as well as of predictive value, as patients with MGMT promotor methylation survive longer and have better responses to the alkylating chemotherapeutic agent temozolomid. The current first line therapy approaches after maximum safe resection include radio-chemotherapy with temozolomid, radio-chemotherapy with the combination of temozolomid and CCNU as well as tumor treating fields. Currently several early clinical studies investigate new treatment possibilists in glioblastoma. Listen to the podcast with Professor Ulrich Herrlinger, Division of Clinical Neurooncology, Department of Neurology and Center of Integrated Oncology, University Hospital Bonn, Germany. Read the Abstract:

  • Highlights in Lung Cancer 2019

    20/12/2019 Duration: 26min

    There has been a lot of exciting trials in lung cancer reported in 2019. In this podcast, Jonathan Lim (YOC member) speaks to Professor Sanjay Popat about how these studies are practice-changing in the context of the current treatment landscape, and highlights what is on the horizon for 2020 (including targeting KRAS).

  • Current biomarkers in immunotherapy

    03/10/2019 Duration: 04min

    Immunotherapy approaches have revolutionized medical oncology in the last years. However, still only a fraction of patients is responding. Given the risk of side effects without efficacy, therefore, biomarkers providing reliable and reproducible prediction of response are urgently needed. In this podcast, next generation biomarkers including the challenge of branched genomic evolution of cancer are discussed by Professor Samra Turajlic, The Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK.

  • The ESMO-Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale Group

    09/09/2019 Duration: 16min

    Despite all the efforts done so far, access to essential drugs in Oncology is still asymmetric. In this podcast, Teresa Amaral, member of the ESMO YOC, interviews Professor Martine Piccart (Scientific Director of the Institut Jules Bordet, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium) that shares valuable insights on the work that has been done on this field by the ESMO Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale (ESMO – MCBS) group. You can find more information about the ESMO-MCBS group in the following publications: More information on the ESMO Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale: Scale Evaluation Forms v1.0 & v1.1 can be found here: You can read the complete Abstract relating to this podcast on the ESMO Open website in the next few days:

  • What is new on the horizon in Melanoma Brain Metastasis?

    09/08/2019 Duration: 07min

    Professor Kim Margolin (Department of Medical Oncology, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, California) discusses in this podcast the different treatment strategies as well as the clinical challenge of handling melanoma patients with brain metastases. Brain metastases are a particular problem of melanoma patients, as this complication occurs early and frequently. Further, brain metastases are associated with a high symptom burden. Recently, systemic treatment approaches including immunotherapy and tyrosine kinase inhibitors have become increasingly important in the management of melanoma brain metastases patients. Indeed, some patients with small, asymptomatic brain metastases without edema and need for steroid treatment might be candidates for a primarily systemic treatment.

  • ESMO 2018 Presidential Symposium – IMpassion130: Atezolizumab in triple negative breast cancer

    04/10/2018 Duration: 09min

    The IMpassion130 trial was a global, randomized, double-blind, Phase III study of Atezolizumab + nab-paclitaxel vs. placebo + nab-paclitaxel in treatment naïve locally advanced or metastatic triple negative breast cancer patients. Here, progression free survival was statistically significantly longer in patients treated with the combination of Atezolizumab + nab-paclitaxel compared to placebo + nab-paclitaxel. The side effect profile was favorable as no unexpected toxicities were observed in the intervention compared to the control arm. In this podcast, Prof. Schmid provides insight on the response rate as well as the preliminary survival analysis of IMpassion130. Further possible biomarkers and the impact of the results on the treatment standard in breast cancer are discussed. Read the full Abstract on the ESMO Open website:

  • ESMO 2018 Presidential Symposium: radiotherapy to the primary tumor in metastatic prostate cancer

    03/10/2018 Duration: 06min

    Radiotherapy to the primary tumor has been a controversially discussed intervention in patients with newly diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer. Results of the STAMPEDE trial indicate that overall no survival advantage can be achieved by the addition of radiotherapy however subgroups might actually have a benefit. Here, patients with low volume, oligometastatic disease were shown to benefit in a predefined subgroup analysis. In this podcast, Dr. Parker provides insight on the practice changing impact of the STAMPE trial and gives an outlook what is next on the horizon in metastatic prostate cancer therapy. Read the full Abstract on the ESMO Open website:

  • The Metastatic Breast Cancer project: a novel patient-partnered initiative

    05/09/2018 Duration: 26min

    In this podcast, Marina Parry, ESMO Open Digital Editor, speaks to Elana Anastasio, Partnership Outreach Manager, and Brett Tomson, Scientific Outreach Manager, both from the Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Project team at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. The MBCproject is a novel model of a patient-partnered initiative whose aim is to accelerate the understanding of metastatic breast cancer by generating a massive open database of genomic information from patients’ tumour samples, alongside abstracted clinical information, and patient-reported data. In the podcast, we discuss the challenges faced by the team, the enthusiasm they were met with from patients, the logistical and operational hurdles they have overcome, the importance of finding a common language and building trust between participants and researchers, the role of social media and patient advocates, as well as the other patient-partnered projects this team has since initiated. The MBCproject organisers want

  • Biosimilars in oncology

    24/07/2018 Duration: 09min

    Biosimilars will soon become broadly available in the oncology field, raising important questions from both patients and healthcare providers. These questions need to be clarified upfront, in order to increase confidence in using these therapies. In this podcast, Teresa Amaral (YOC member) talks to Professor Josep Tabernero (ESMO President and Director of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) in Barcelona about this timely topic – Biosimilars in Oncology. Read the full Abstract on the ESMO Open website:

  • Tumor evolution in non-small-cell lung cancer

    20/07/2018 Duration: 13min

    In this podcast, Marina Parry, ESMO Open Digital Editor, speaks to Nicholas McGranahan, Junior Group Leader of the Cancer Genome Evolution Group at University College London’s Cancer Institute about the role of bioinformatics in translating genomics research into the clinic and his most recent paper “Allele-Specific HLA Loss and Immune Escape in Lung Cancer Evolution”, Cell, 2017 Read the full Abstract on the ESMO Open website.

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