Course Report

Multidisciplinary Management of Breast Cancer - PDF Version
27-30 October 2019, Budapest, Hungary 

I am an in-training radiation oncologist at the University of Bologna, where I follow many different oncology patients. Since my specific field of interest is breast cancer, I decided to attend the European SocieTy for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) course, following last year's useful experience of the course on Basic Clinical Radiobiology. 

I found the course on Multidisciplinary Management of Breast Cancer very satisfying. It was intensive, and all sessions covered fundamental topics. I found particularly interesting the sessions on clinical trials in different settings. These were analysed during the course. They underlined the areas of interest and study, what trials had already been performed and would provide results shortly, and what trial results were being consolidated and were expected to offer more information in the future. It was a very effective way to summarise the results of research in the breast cancer field. 

I was also positively impressed by the voting involved in the clinical-case discussions. I believe this was a clever way to consolidate knowledge after the theoretical sessions, and to suggest new possibilities to manage classic situations. 

The course improved my knowledge and skills in breast-cancer management because it offered optimal equilibrium between theoretical knowledge and clinical and practical advice. 

My three personal “take-home messages” are the following: 

  1. Contouring is a major issue in breast cancer. It is important to follow guidelines in every case for which they exist and, in every situation, it is fundamental to consider our clinical target, especially in complex cases. 
  2. Even though breast cancer is a well-known disease, there are still areas of uncertainty regarding optimal treatments. In these cases, it is important to have and follow institutional guidelines for every patient, and to collect data to find the best solutions in the future. 
  3. Every patient’s case should be discussed within a multidisciplinary tumour board. During evaluation of radiation treatment we should always consider the aim, and the subsequent acceptable toxicity, to define better the optimal technique to use and the most appropriate sequence in which to place it with other treatment modalities. 

I hope that after this course all my take-home messages will become starting points to improve my daily clinical practice. 

Finally, I encourage any in-training radiation oncologists interested in breast cancer to participate in this ESTRO course during their last years of training. Some consolidated knowledge is required for attendees, but the course provides a complete and international vision of this pathology, focused on but not limited to radiotherapy. The sessions on epidemiology, surgery, and systemic treatments are of great quality as well. Moreover, this course provides a unique occasion to meet and learn from the greatest experts on the subject, which was a pleasure and an honour. 


Dr Alice Zamagni
In-training radiation oncologist
Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Speciality Medicine-DIMES
University of Bologna, S.Orsola-Malpighi Hospital