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Judith Balmaña


Judith Balmaña

Clinical Cancer Genetics/Breast Cancer Unit
Medical Oncology
Vall d’Hebron University Hospital


Judith Balmaña Gelpi, MD, PhD graduated in Medicine at the Universitat de Barcelona and carried out her residency in medical oncology at the Hospital Sant Pau, Barcelona. She was awarded with a grant from "La Caixa" and trained as a clinical research fellow in the High Risk Clinics for Breast and Gastrointestinal Cancer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston (USA). On her return from the US in 2005, she was hired in the Medical Oncology Department from Vall d´Hebron University Hospital to establish the Familial Cancer Program. 

Since then, she has been leading the VHIO´s High Risk and Cancer Prevention Group and she is serving as Attending Physician in the Breast Cancer Unit. She obtained her PhD from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona for her research on a prediction model for hereditary colorectal cancer. 

She has been involved in research projects related with genetic epidemiology of hereditary breast cancer, which have shed light on the prevalence of mutations in BRCA and non-BRCA genes in these families in her setting. She is also interested in investigating the clinical and psychosocial impact of germline genetic testing for hereditary cancer. 

She is actively involved in clinical development of targeted therapies for patients with a BRCA or homologous recombination repair deficiency, mainly with breast cancer. In this field, Dr Balmaña is collaborating in the identification of biomarkers for PARP inhibitor sensitivity. 

Dr Balmaña teaches at the School of Medicine of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC), and is the clinical coordinator of the cancer genetics module in the Master Program in Genetic Counselling (IDEC/ Universitat Pompeu Fabra). 

In 2015 Dr Balmaña was awarded with the “Prize to Biomedical Research Excellence” by the “Col.legi Oficial de Metges de Barcelona”. 

She has been an ESMO Faculty member since 2009, and was Chairman of the Familial Cancer Program for ESMO Conference in 2011-2012. Furthermore, she is the ESMO Faculty Coordinator of the Cancer Genetics Group (2017-2021). 

Dr Balmaña is author of many peer-reviewed articles and book chapter in her fields of expertise.

Last update: May 2018

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