Oncology is a fascinating field of medicine concentrating on malignancies, hematological and solid, involving several disciplines including Medical Oncology, Hematology, Radiotherapy, Surgical Oncology, Palliative Care, Genetics and other disciplines. A multidisciplinary approach is therefore of utmost importance in this field. Oncology is not concentrated on one organ but can concern all parts of the body.
There are already sources of men affected with cancer from Ancient Egypt but with the current demographic with humans are getting much older, cancer has become an important health issue as the second most frequent cause of death after cardiovascular diseases.
The field of oncology is full of dynamic and in the last years and decades much has been discovered about the biology of cancer. We have shifted from a morphologic view of the disease to a molecular one and for many cancers, e.g. lung cancer that had basically two forms, we have now discovered multiple sub-forms with different molecular signatures and therefore different treatment options and prognosis.
With the growing knowledge about the development of cancer, not only centered on the cancer cells themselves but also the microenvironment, the treatment options nowadays have become more sophisticated and targeted and individualized. Apart from the classic treatment options of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and radiotherapy, that remain important, newer treatment options like targeted therapies including substances targeting e.g. the neovasculature and immunotherapies have been introduced in the recent years.
These novel therapies or their combinations of “conventional” therapies have impressively improved the survival and the quality of life for some of our patients with malignancies.
The course will give an overview of the epidemiology of cancer, the advances in understanding the disease and the different treatment options with a focus on solid tumors.