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ONC0253G Oncology




Academic year 2023/2024

Course ID
Alessandra Merlini (Lecturer)
1st year
Teaching period
First semester
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
MED/06 - medical oncology
Formal authority
Type of examination
Written and oral (optional)
Type of learning unit
Modular course
General Medicine and Clinical Sciences (ONC0253)

Sommario del corso


Course objectives

  • Acquisition of basic knowledge on biological principles of neoplasias, including oncohematology.
  • Knowledge of epidemiological data, risk factors, prevention strategies concerning main/most frequent neoplasias.
  • Acquisition of critical thinking on drug development in oncology/oncohematology and intersections with other disciplines.
  • Knowledge of future perspectives in terms of diagnosis and treatment.

Results of learning outcomes

  • Knowledge of basic principles of:
    • Risk factors, prevention, epidemiology of cancer
    • Diagnosis and the technological advances involved in cancer diagnosis
    • Basic principles of treatment and most recent innovative therapeutic strategies
  • Ability to develop critical assessment of the different disciplines involved in cancer care, including the applications of more basic sciences to oncology.


1) Introduction to Medical Oncology. Basic Oncology principles. Terminology: meaning of neoadjuvant/adjuvant treatment; staging; follow-up.  

2) Basic principles in Hematology and Oncohematology. Main physiopathological mechanisms, diagnostic principles, including immunophenotyping. 

3) Drug development in Oncology and Oncohematology: chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapies. Principal aspects of drug development, including preclinical and clinical studies. Main mechanisms of action and most relevant toxicities of different oncological treatments, including chemotherapy, hormonal therapies and targeted treatments. 

4) Cancer immunotherapy: current approaches and future perspectives. Novel drugs and adoptive cell therapy. Basic principles of immunotherapy applied to clinical practice and future perspectives. Main aspects of adoptive cell therapy in Oncology and Oncohematology.

5) Malignant neoplasms: risk factors. Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. The epitome of smoking and lung cancer. Notions on different prevention strategies, how to design and conduct prevention programs, impact on health and society.

6) Precision medicine: the example of lung cancer. Meaning of precision medicine and practical applications, from preclinical studies to diagnosis and clinical practice. 

7) Early stages of lung cancer: personalized treatment. Notions on comprehensive patient care: functional evaluations, local and radical treatments, perioperative treatment strategies, educational programs for smoking cessation and physical activity. 

8) Modelling carcinogenesis: Lynch syndrome and other inherited gastrointestinal neoplasias. Basic principles on molecular alterations involved in the development of gastrointestinal neoplasias, evaluation of genetic risk, impact on diagnostic-therapeutic implications in gastrointestinal cancers, impact on healthy individuals. 

9) Treatment of gastrointestinal neoplasias. Basic principles on gastrointestinal neoplasias treatment, decisional parameters for perioperative treatments.

10) Diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Basic principles for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. 

11) Diagnosis and treatment of genito-urinary neoplasias. Main notions on diagnosis and treatment of principal genito-urinary neopalsias. 

12) Rare beyond complex: rare cancers. Basic principles on rare cancers, focusing on neuroendocrine tumors and sarcomas. Diagnostic, physiopathological, and treatment complexity in rare cancers.



Course delivery

In-person lectures with interactive discussion; case reports; homework/exercises for the assessment of most important learning objectives. 


Learning assessment methods

Interactive discussion; homework/exercises; optional intermediate evaluation; final exam. 

Suggested readings and bibliography

Last update: 25/07/2023 09:09
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