Gastrointestinal Cancer Unit

Gastrointestinal Cancer Unit

In the Gastrointestinal Tumors Unit (Unidad de Tumores Gastrointestinales or UTGI), we attend patients diagnosed with tumors that affect the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, the gastroesophageal junction, the stomach, the duodenum, the small intestine, the gallbladder and bile ducts, the pancreas, the large intestine (colon and rectum) and the anal canal.

As soon as the doctor (e.g. general practitioner, internal medicine specialist, gastroenterologist) diagnoses the patient with a gastrointestinal tumor, they will prescribe a biopsy to confirm and then determine the tumor type.

At IOB’s Gastrointestinal Cancer Unit, we have a professional medical structure with subspecialized support, as well as the logistics and administrative resources needed to carry out the multidisciplinary treatment that this type of neoplasia requires.

Additionally, it also provides a service for second opinions.

Integral care

The multidisciplinary team is made up of oncologists, radiotherapists, surgeons, specialists in anatomical pathology, radiodiagnostics and nuclear medicine, as well as nursing staff specialized in this type of tumor.

In addition to this, IOB offers an integral care to our patients with specialists in psychology and psychiatry for the patient and their family, as well as individualized consultations in nutrition by top nutritionists and oriental medicine such as acupuncture and hypnosis for the treatment of anxiety and pain.

The medical committee shall meet periodically to discuss each clinical case and seek to optimize the prognosis of the disease and to guarantee the patient’s quality of life.

The commitment of the UTGI is to minimize the time between the diagnosis and the moment the patient receives the treatment best suited to its illness.

Our service also counts with a scheduling team that guarantees that the patient is able to do the complementary tests in the shortest time, without having to deal with the arduous process of insurance authorizations and coordination with other departments, which would add additional worry to the process.

The oncological medical team is led by Dr. Josep Tabernero, and made up of the following oncologists: Dr. Teresa MacarullaDr. Jaume CapdevilaDr. José Luis Cuadra, Dr. Elvira Buxó, Dr. Javier Ros and Dr. Iosune Baraibar.


At IOB’s UTGI, the treatment is decided based on the histological type of the tumor (determined by the results of the biopsy), the tumor localization (based on the organs of the digestive system) and its stage (determined based on the imaging studies).

The decision is individualized based on the personal and pathological history of the patient, the general state of the patient at the moment of the assessment, the alterations that are shown in the results of the laboratory analyses (including the corresponding tumor markers) and the pertinent molecular alterations (for example, microsatellite instability in all digestive tumors, mutations in RAS and BRAF in colon neoplasia, amplifications of HER-2 in gastric neoplasia or the gastroesophageal junction, among others).

All of these tests are coordinated by IOB.

Localized tumors or oligometastasis (localized metastasis) are assessed within a multidisciplinary commission that meets weekly and is made up of different professionals (general surgery, oncologic radiotherapy, diagnostic and interventional radiology, nuclear medicine and pathological anatomy), subspecialized in gastrointestinal tract tumors, in order to plan a strategy to increase the possibilities of success. A worthy action for this complex situation.

IOB is able to rely on the support for the symptoms stemming from the disease, since we have a person of reference in nutrition, psycho-oncology, psychiatry, acupuncture techniques and geriatric oncology for elderly patients. 

The choice to employ one or the other, or a combination thereof, as we said above, depends above all on the phase in which the disease is diagnosed.

During the outpatient consultations the treatment choice is explained fully and clearly, taking into account the potential advantages and sequelae of each therapeutic mode.

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