ECCO Country Member Profiles: Spain

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Name of group: GETECCU (Spanish IBD Group)

Number of active members: 985

Number of meetings per year: We celebrate one national meeting a year with more than 400 attendees and three annual meetings for residents. We also have a meeting for nurses and a Young GETECCU meeting per year.

President and Secretary: Manuel Barreiro de Acosta and Yamile Zabana Abdo

National Representatives:  Manuel Barreiro de Acosta (President) and Ana Gutierrez Casbas (Vice President)

Joined ECCO in:Manuel Barreiro in 2008 and Ana Gutiérrez in 2019

Incidence of IBD in the country: 16 cases/100.000 persons-years, 7.5 for Crohn´s disease, 8 for Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and 0.5 for unclassified IBD. These data come from our nationwide epidemiologic Spanish Study, EpidemIBD.

What has changed since your society became an ECCO Country Member?

GETECCU was founded more than 30 years ago and was one of the founder societies of ECCO. In fact, the second ECCO president was Dr Gassull, one of the founders of GETECCU and president of GETECCU for a long time. For GETECCU the main change has been the development of a close relationship with other European IBD Societies and the identification of a large group which can be used for developing research.

What are the benefits to you of being an ECCO Country Member?

For an IBD Society like ours, being part of ECCO is very important and the main benefit has been the networking with other IBD Societies.

Is your society making use of the ECCO Guidelines?

Of course, our society spreads ECCO guidelines among our members. Several members of our group have participated in ECCO guidelines and another Past-President of GETECCU, Dr Gomollón was the leader of a Crohn´s Disease guideline.

Have you developed links with other countries through your ECCO Country Membership?

Yes, we have close relationships with other ECCO countries, especially with countries from Mediterranean areas.

Have you developed research projects with other countries through your ECCO Country Membership?

We have run projects such as ATICCA study with other countries (Italy, Portugal, Germany). We are now close to starting some collaborative projects with GETAID group (France).

Have you developed educational activities with other countries through your ECCO Country Membership?

GETECCU has developed the IBD four-nation course for young gastroenterologists from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, all ECCO members for several years.

Has your country been involved in a fellow exchange through your ECCO Country Membership?

Yes, it is common to exchange fellows.

What are your main areas of research interest?

GETECCU is leader in multicentre clinical studies. We have published very interesting real-life studies with all kinds of drugs. The high number of patients included in our database makes the development of these studies easy. We have also published a trial in prevention of postsurgical recurrence. In addition, GETECCU has done PASS studies for some drugs.

Does your centre or country have a common IBD database or bio bank?

ENEIDA is our national database. This is a database with different sections that can be used locally and globally. The aim of the database is to provide information for scientific and translational purposes. Currently the base has about 60,000 patients and nearly 100 Spanish hospitals are actively participating. We have published more than 30 research articles and presented studies in all the last ECCO meetings. This database will be interconnected with UR-CARE in the near future.

What are your most prestigious/interesting past and ongoing projects?

Spain and, of course, GETECCU have several multicentre clinical studies ongoing. A huge nationwide epidemiological study, EpidemIBD, that is close to being published. We have a prospective study about infections too. A pregnancy register (DUMBO) is running and another interesting project is CUE, which is a certification program with external evaluation of IBD units. More than 50 units have been certified up to now and the results of this programme have been presented as DOP at the last ECCO Congress.

Which ECCO Projects/Activities is the group currently involved in?

Spain has always been one of the countries with a higher number of research studies at ECCO Congresses. At the last congress more than 100 abstracts were from our country. Several members of GETECCU have participated or are participating in ECCO Guidelines and ECCO Topic Groups.

What are your aims for the future?

Our aim is to continue developing educational and research projects in our group that will help to be referents in IBD. We are developing innovation telemedicine projects, basic research etc…

How do you see ECCO helping you to fulfil these aims?

We would like to have more active participation as ECCO members. Some of our GETECCU members belong to ECCO boards, and we encourage all our members to join ECCO and increase our visibility as a Society.

What do you use ECCO for? Network? Congress? How do you use the things/services that ECCO has to offer?

Fundamentally for research and networking. At our national meetings we, as National Representatives, present all the ECCO projects so that attendees can join them.

GETECCU Governing Board

Posted in ECCO News, ECCO Country Member Profiles, Volume 15, Issue 1