The scientific main programmes of these series of symposia changed from time to time following the international scientific trends. The main programmes of the First Symposium were: 1. Gastric and intestinal cytoprotection; 2. Hepatoprotection; 3. Pancreatic protection. For the second one: 1. Gastrointestinal mucosal 'cytoprotection'; 2. Liver 'cytoprotection'; 3. Pancreatic 'cytoprotection'; 4. Free radicals and scavangers; 5. Computer approach to cytoprotec tion. For the third one: 1. Basic, central, peripheral and cellular mechanisms of gastrointestinaol cytoprotection; 2. Esophagal protection; 3. Gastric protection; 4. Small intestinal injury and protection; 5. Large bowel injury and protection; 6. Liver injury and protection; 7. Pancreas injury and protection. The main scientific programmes of the Fourth International Symposium on 'Cell Injury and Protection in the Gastrointestinal Tract' are: 1. General mechanisms of gastrointestinal injury and protection; 2. Cell injury and protection in the stomach; 3. Cell injury and protection in the small intestine and in the large bowel; 4. Cell injury and protection in the liver and pancreas; 5. Cell injury and protection of the premalignant status and malignant diseases in the gastrointestinal tract. The presented papers are published in this book. The abstracts of this meeting were published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences, and we record appreciation of the Editor ofthatjoumal for their publication. Some of the papers published here have appeared in Inflammopharmacology 1996;4:331-398.