84431 - Medical Oncology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

Recognize the role of screening and survelliance in early diagnosis and prevention of cancer. Describe the clinical manifestations, natural history, diagnosis, staging, prognostic indicators and management of the major oncological diseases, with emphasis on those most commonly encountered in the clinical practice. Identify the major diagnostic and therapeutic options for each encountered clinical scenario, and discuss their benefits and limitations. Summarize decision-making algorithms for a correct differential diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment choice. Recognize the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the management of neoplastic conditions. Recognize the role of early and final palliative care in cancer management. Discuss the organization of out-of-hospital care of patients (hospice, home-help and community facilities). Present and critically analyze clinical cases, discuss the differential diagnosis, and formulate appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for each case (Problem-Based Learning).

Course contents

Lesson 1 (2 hours): General Oncology (Treatment strategy, Determinants of clinical choices in cancer treatment, Principles of methodology in oncology clinical research)

Lesson 2 (2 hours): Thoracic cancers (part 1)

Lesson 3 (2 hours): Thoracic cancers (part 2)

Lesson 4 (2 hours): Brest cancer (part 1)

Lesson 5 (2 hours): Breast cancer (part 2)

Lesson 6 (2 hours): GI (colorectal) cancers

Lesson 7 (2 hours): GI (non-colorectal) cancers

Lesson 8 (2 hours): Genito-urinary cancers

Lesson 9 (2 hours): Skin cancer (melanoma)

Lesson 10 (2 hours): Gynecological cancers

Lesson 11 (2 hours):Tumor Board: Clinical case 1, Clinical case 2

Lesson 12 (2 hours): Tumor Board: Clinical case 3, Clinical case 4


-Weinberg,The Biology of Cancer, Garland Science; Edition 2.

ISBN-10: 0815345283, ISBN-13: 978-0815345282

-Pecorino, Molecular Biology of Cancer: Mechanisms, Targets, and Therapeutics,OUP Oxford;Edition 4.

ISBN-10: 0198717342, ISBN-13: 978-0198717348

-Devita, Hellman, and Rosenberg's, Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; ;Edition 11.

ISBN-10: 1496394631, ISBN-13: 978-1496394637

-Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Fourth Estate.

ISBN 0007250916, ISBN-13: 978-0007250912

-ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up Annals of Oncology 29, sup 4, 2018.


Also e-learning material (including scientific literature and self-assessment tools) will be provided on "Insegnamenti Online"

Teaching methods

Lectures with ppt presentation. Class discussion on case studies and examples from the scientific literature.

Attendance to learning activities is mandatory; the minimum attendance requirement to be admitted to the final exam is 60% of lessons. For Integrated Courses (IC), the 60% attendance requirement refers to the total amount of I.C. lessons. Students who fail to meet the minimum attendance requirement will not be admitted to the final exam of the course, and will have to attend relevant classes again during the next academic year.

Professors may authorize excused absences upon receipt of proper justifying documentation, in case of illness or serious reasons. Excused absences do not count against a student’s attendance record to determine their minimum attendance requirement.

Assessment methods

Student learning will be checked at the end of the Integrated Course “NEOPLASIA AS DISEASE MODEL”.

The whole exam of Neoplasia as Disease Model will include three parts:
Histopathology: Analysis of one slide
Cancer Biology: 1 question
Oncological Pharmacology; 1 question
Written (Multiple choice, 4 answers, 1 point for each correct answer, no penalty for wrong answers)
Medical oncology: 15 questions
General Surgery: 5 questions
Oncological Radiology: 5 questions
Clinical Psychology: 5 questions

Histopathology: max 30 points, weight 1/11
Cancer Biology, max 30 points, weight 3/11
Oncological Pharmacology, max 30 points, weight 1/11
Written part: 1 point for each question, max 30 points total, weight: 6/11
Final mark: (Written*6/11) + Histopathology/11 + (Biology*3/11) + Pharmacology/11
Full marks in all parts => 30 cum laude

To pass the exam the student must obtain a pass mark in each discipline, i.e.
Histopathology: at least 18/30
Biology: at least 18/30
Pharmacology: at least 18/30
Medical Oncology: at least 8/15 correct answers
Surgery: at least 3/5 correct answers
Radiology: at least 3/5 correct answers
Psychology: at least 3/5 correct answers

Exam grades will be published after 5 days on AlmaEsami. In case of failure or refusal, students can retake the exam on the first available examination date.

Teaching tools

All the slides used for lectures are made available to the students.

Office hours

See the website of Andrea Ardizzoni