At ASCO 2021, the most important studies in gastro-intestinal (GI) cancer related to the use of immuno-therapy in cancers of the upper gastro-intestinal tract. For advanced oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), the CheckMate 648 trial demonstrated that both nivolumab plus chemotherapy and nivolumab plus ipilimumab represent a new potential first-line standard of care, especially for patients with a tumour PD-L1 expression of at least 1%. For adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus and oesophago-gastric junction, there is no evidence that peri-operative chemotherapy is unacceptably inferior to multimodal therapy. For tumours of the lower gastro-intestinal tract, the most important results came from the DESTINY-CRC01, CHRONOS, FIRE-4.5 and PANAMA studies.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2021;15(5):248-53)