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Carina Lorenz, the winner of the 2019 ‘Best Student’ Award in Valencia, talks about her experience at the ESMO-ESO Course on Medical Oncology for Medical Students.

What was your main reason for applying to join the course?


I have been interested in medical oncology for quite a while now. However, I felt like I was missing a general understanding of how to approach clinical cases. What I liked very much about the course is, that it is highly interactive and you learn how to practically approach not only therapy, but also diagnosis as well as staging of cancer patients.

What was your take home message from the five days?

As a medical student, the complexity of modern medical oncology can be a little daunting every now and then. Therefore, the ESMO-ESO Medical Student Course is a wonderful opportunity to get an overview of various aspects of medical oncology. Not only the perfectly well-prepared lectures but also the discussion with other medical students were incredibly helpful to develop a comprehensive understanding of cancer biology and clinical care of cancer patients. On top of that, I thoroughly learnt how to discuss and present clinical cases. All of these skills will be essential in developing my further career in medical oncology.

Why are you interested in medical oncology?

This is an exciting time for medical oncology. The increase in knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying malignant transformation has led to the development of novel drugs that specifically target genotype-stratified tumor entities. Accordingly, modern oncology is currently shifting away from globally toxic chemo- and radiotherapy, toward genotype-specific targeted drugs, which selectively kill cancer cells only without affecting healthy cells. To me, it is very fascinating to see how quickly basic research discoveries are translated into clinical practice. One day, I would like to become a clinician-scientist working at this highly dynamic interface of basic cancer research and medical oncology.

How do you feel about having a professional society, such as ESMO, supporting you in your professional development?

First and foremost, the educational and scientific resources provided by ESMO are incredibly valuable and cover the full spectrum of relevant topics. They are a great way for medical students to learn the essentials and to keep up-to-date with the most recent advances in medical oncology. On top of that, the numerous career development opportunities are simply fantastic and I am very much looking forward to exploiting them in the future. 

Would you recommend this Course and why?

The ESMO-ESO Course has been a spectacular experience! The speakers are absolutely outstanding, the atmosphere is super inspiring, and the course is perfectly well-organized. Furthermore, it is a unique opportunity to meet and discuss with fellow medical students from all over Europe. I could not recommend this course more!

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