Dr Joaquim Bellmunt graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona in 1982 and gained his doctorate cum laude from the same university in 1989. He was a resident physician in Medical Oncology at the Hospital Universitario de la Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona. His background was completed when he gained the European Certificate in Medical Oncology in London in 1989 and spent time with the Clinical Immunology Service, the Medical Oncology Division and the Department of Immunopathology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York in 1987 and 1989. After finishing his residence, he joined the Medical Oncology Service at the Vall d'Hebron Hospital (from June 1988 until December 2005) as Head of the Uro-Oncological Unit. In January 2006 he was appointed Head of the Solid Tumour Section at the Medical Oncology Service of the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona. Since April 2013 he has been the Director of the Bladder Cancer Center at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston (MA). Since 2017 he has been the Director of IMIM-Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute. He is also the GU Oncology Research Coordinator PSMAR.
Dr Bellmunt is past-president of the Advanced Bladder Cancer Committee of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and has been consultant to the Genito-Urinary Group (EORTC-GU) since 2000. He is co-founder and past-president of the Grupo Español de Tratamiento de Tumores Génito-Urinarios (SOGUG- Spanish Group for the Treatment of Genito-urinary Tumours). He was professor of Medicine at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona in 2006 and since 2013 he is Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He is also editorial consultant to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Oncology, European Urology, European Journal of Cancer, British Journal of Urology Int. and Journal of Urology, among other publications. Dr Bellmunt has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and has made over 100 contributions to books and congresses.
As a genitourinary (GU) medical oncologist, Dr Bellmunt has led urothelial cancer trials for over 15 years in Europe and continues doing so at DFCI. Recently, his research at the Bladder Cancer Center has focused on the role of checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of GU malignancies (bladder and kidney). He has been involved in the development of immunotherapy in bladder cancer since its inception and participated in the two Phase I trials with atezolizumab (Nature. 2014) and with pembrolizumab (Lancet Oncol. 2017) and the phase II atezolizumab (Lancet 2016) that led to the FDA and EMA approval. In the same line, he has contributed to the development of these agents in unfit bladder cancer patients (Lancet 2017). He has been the Chair and lead investigator of the Phase III randomized study of immunotherapy (pembrolizumab) versus chemotherapy. This is a landmark trial showing survival superiority for immunotherapy versus chemotherapy (Bellmunt J, N Engl J Med. 2017). Dr Bellmunt is now implementing prospective data collection of patients included in the immunotherapy trials, in order to understand the underlying genetic and biological mechanisms of response and resistance.
Dr Bellmunt is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM). He has been part of the ASCO Congress Scientific Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology-Genitourinary (ASCO GU) where he has been involved in conferences as a Faculty Member. Dr Bellmunt is also involved in most European guidelines for GU malignancies, including ESMO, SEOM and the European Association of Urology (EAU) and in the U.S. in the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) guidelines for BC.