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Press Release: New Edition of ESMO/ASCO Global Curriculum in Medical Oncology – Setting Standards for Modern Training

30 Sep 2016

LUGANO – ESMO, the leading European professional organisation for medical oncology, in collaboration with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), published today the 2016 edition of the ESMO/ASCO Recommendations for a Global Curriculum (GC) in Medical Oncology (1), a set of common guidelines to offer a global perspective of the clinical training required for physicians to qualify as medical oncologists.

“Recent significant advances in medical oncology made updating the curriculum a necessary step,” said ESMO Chair of the ESMO/ASCO Global Curriculum Working Group Christian Dittrich, Kaiser Franz Josef-Spital, Vienna, Austria.

The integration of molecular pathology to determine the presence of biomarkers as criteria to select appropriate new therapies is one of the most appreciable novelties now included in the 2016 edition of the GC, making it a fundamental reference for internationally recognized standards for medical oncology training.

Building on the improvements to the inaugural 2004 edition implemented in 2010, this third edition has been expanded and updated to include:

  • Stand-alone chapters/section: immunotherapy; biological therapy; pathology; molecular pathology; laboratory medicine; translational research; genetic counselling.
  • New chapters/(sub)sections: Principles of personalised cancer medicine; Molecular imaging; Rare cancers; Cancer treatment in patients with comorbidities; Survivorship.
  • Expanded (sub)chapters: Targeted therapies are integrated into the (sub)chapters of the separate tumour entities wherever suitable.

The chapter/section structure has also been revised according to new pedagogical principles. Each topic is now divided into four categories: Objectives, Awareness, Knowledge and Skills.

“As chair of the ESMO/ASCO Global Curriculum Working Group I am more than pleased that our joint endeavour to conceive and formulate a new edition of the Global Curriculum has met its goal,” said Dittrich. “More than one hundred contributors have dedicated their oncologic and didactic expertise to establish the updated recommendations to be fulfilled for qualifying as medical oncologist. The endorsements by 47 national oncology societies worldwide will allow patients, wherever they live, to get state-of-the-art cancer care.”

“Working on the ESMO/ASCO Global Curriculum has been very rewarding,” said Michael Kosty, MD, FACP, FASCO, ASCO Representative on the Global Curriculum Working Group. “It has brought together clinician-educators from around the world to craft a framework which represents what a physician trained in oncology should know.”

The Global Curriculum is a living document, and as such must be regularly reviewed and updated. “The future of our specialty is in the hands of those who we are now training. To the degree we are able to establish a uniform, truly global curriculum, we will be helping patients the world over,” Kosty said.

“The ESMO/ASCO GC can be considered the ultimate guide in becoming a Medical Oncologist,” said Mário Fontes e Sousa, Phd student at the Portuguese Institute of Oncology, Porto, Portugal.  “It's one of the most important tools for trainee education that a medical oncologist in training could ask for.”

ESMO President Fortunato Ciardiello said, “The release of the 2016 edition of the Global Curriculum highlights ESMO’s and ASCO’s commitment to supporting oncologists’ education worldwide so that they can further sharpen their expertise, adapt to the rapid changes in standards of practice, and learn how to collaborate effectively with other specialists in an integrated, multi-professional setting.”



(1) The 2016 edition of the ESMO/ASCO Global Curriculum is available in ESMO Open, ESMO’s new open access online only journal. DOI 10.1136/esmoopen-2016-000097 http://esmoopen.bmj.com/content/1/5/e000097

Notes to Editors

  • Printed copies of the Global Curriculum will be available at the ESMO 2016 Congress in Copenhagen from the ESMO Booth in the Society Village and from the ESMO Member Lounge (exclusive access to ESMO members only).
  • The ESMO/ASCO GC will be the subject of an ESMO Focus Talk, a live informal exchange between esteemed oncology experts and congress attendees taking place at the ESMO Booth, Sunday 9 October at 10.45 with Rossana Berardi, member of the ESMO/ASCO GC Working Group and Ulrik Lassen, ESMO National Representative for Denmark and President of the Danish Society of Clinical Oncology (DSKO).
  • More information about previous editions of the ESMO/ASCO GC, including translated versions can be found here

For further information:
ESMO Press Office
+41 (0)91 973 1904  

About ESMO:

ESMO is the reference authority and reliable source of medical oncology education offering evidenced-based information provided by a team of international experts across all tumour types, including provision of insights in other disciplines necessary for work of medical oncologists in the multidisciplinary setting. ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. With more than 13,000 members representing oncology professionals from over 130 countries, ESMO is the society of reference for oncology education and information. We are committed to supporting our members to develop and advance in a fast-evolving professional environment. ESMO’s educational resources support an integrated, multi-professional approach to cancer care. We have European roots and a global reach: we welcome oncology professionals from around the world and we seek to erase boundaries in cancer care as we pursue our mission across oncology, worldwide.

About ASCO:

Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) is committed to making a world of difference in cancer care. As the world’s leading organization of its kind, ASCO represents more than 40,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of the highest-quality patient care, ASCO works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Learn more at www.ASCO.org, explore patient education resources at www.Cancer.Net, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Last update: 30 Sep 2016

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