July 19, 2016


The Champalimaud Digestive Unit is organised into two specialised groups:

Colo-Rectal Group (colon, rectum, oesophagus and stomach)

Primary and Secondary Liver, Biliary Tract and Pancreatic Cancers Group


_DSF6584Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world, with around 1.4 million new cases diagnosed each year. Cancer, and the development of cancer in the digestive tract, including the neo-endocrine system, are the focus of the Colorectal Cancer Group of the CCC’s Digestive Unit. This group comprising medical oncologists, gastroenterologists, surgeons and radiotherapists, seeks to utilise the most advanced techniques and take a multidisciplinary approach in dealing with digestive tumours in all their variations and degrees of development.


This working group is focused on mastering the knowledge and techniques necessary to interrupt or slow the development of colorectal cancer. Special emphasis is placed on providing efficient, integrated cancer care in order to facilitate rapid and effective responses to our patients’ clinical situations. We also strive continuously to achieve the best results in the most cost effective way.

Specialising in cancers of the colon, rectum, oesophagus and stomach, we work closely with the Primary and Secondary Liver, Biliary Tract, and Pancreatic Cancers Group and in collaboration with radiologists, pathologists, specialists in nuclear medicine, nurses, psycho-oncologists and nutritionists.

Particular attention is also given to the prevention and screening of digestive tumours through a programme of risk assessment and early diagnosis aimed at the general population and, in particular, relatives of patients who have received a digestive cancer diagnosis, most likely via a colonoscopy. This programme offers the possibility of access to genetic diagnosis services for those considered to have a hereditary risk.

Rectal Cancer

At the CCC we take a multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach to treating rectal cancer. This includes the use of advanced forms of radiotherapy, specific rectal imaging techniques, and extremely high precision surgical procedures, utilising the most advanced technology and techniques in the utilisation of robotic surgery. By using the most state-of-the-art techniques in rectal surgery along with our other highly specialised treatment tools we are able to apply highly effective treatment, minimsing damage to healthy tissue and maximising quality of life.

Although related to colon cancer, rectal cancer is increasingly becoming an independent unit in its own right. The CCC’s rectal cancer specialists use a multidisciplinary approach to provide the most effective treatment while working closely with researchers in this field to develop new and improved therapeutic tools.


The CCC’s Digestive Unit also includes the Primary and Secondary Liver, Biliary Tract and Pancreatic Cancers Group.

Dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and investigation of cancers, either primary or secondary (metastases) of the liver, biliary tract and pancreas, this group comprises medical oncologists, gastroenterologists, surgeons, radiotherapists, radiologists, pathologists, nuclear medicine specialists, nurses, psycho-oncologists e nutritionists.

This multidisciplinary approach allows us to make use of a variety of different specialities in order to make advances in the treatment of cancers, such as cancers of the pancreas and liver, which currently have high levels of mortality. The treatment of liver metastases plays a major role in gaining an increased rate of survival among patients who have cancers which usually only exhibit symptoms in the advanced stages of the disease. We are therefore committed to developing research programmes to find new approaches in the characterisation of these lesions and new therapeutic modalities based on technological innovations in surgery, radiotherapy or other areas.

The Primary and Secondary Liver Cancer, Biliary Tract Cancer and Pancreatic Cancer Group is also actively involved in risk assessment and early diagnosis of cancer. This is particularly relevant in this area since early detection increases significantly the treatment options available and the potential to actively control and cure the disease.

Watch Prof. Bill Heald, Chair of the Colorectal Programme, discuss his role at the Champalimaud Centre:



Our Digestive Unit doctors

Carlos Carvalho, Director of the Digestive Unit

Nuno Figueiredo, Director, Champalimaud Surgical Centre

Bill Heald, Chairman of the Colorectal Programme

Amjad Parvaiz, Head of Minimal Access and Robotic Colorectal Surgery

Geerard Beets

Eduardo Barroso, Surgeon

João Santos Coelho, Surgeon

Nuno Couto, Medical oncologist

José Filipe da Cunha, Surgeon

Hugo Domingos, Surgeon

Paulo Fidalgo, Gastroenterologist

Joaquim Gago, Medical oncologist

Hugo Pinto Marques, Surgeon

Raquel Mega, Surgeon

Jorge Paulino, Surgeon

Mário Ribeiro, Gastroenterologist

Ricardo Rio Tinto, Gastroenterologist