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There is a growing demand for academic education for oncologists and other scientists in the field to increase their clinical competence in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with lung cancer. Cancer is predicted to be an increasingly important cause of morbidity and mortality in the next few decades, in all regions of the world.

The expected demographic changes in the next two decades mean that even if current global cancer rates remain unchanged, the estimated incidence of 12.7 million new cancer cases in 2008 will rise to 21.4 million by 2030, with nearly two thirds of all cancer diagnoses occurring in low- and middle-income countries [1].

According to GLOBOCAN 2012, lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer (1.8 million, 13.0% of the total) and most common cause of cancer death worldwide (1.6 million, 19.4% of the total [2]). Lung cancer incidence and mortality rates are still increasing in less developed parts of the world, also in some South Eastern European countries [3]. In addition there is a lack of access to equal, high-quality lung cancer care around Europe. Therefore, there is a growing, high demand for qualified and well-educated oncologists as well as other scientists dealing with lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. The aim of the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Lung Cancer Programme is to reduce mortality from this cancer and other thoracic malignancies and to reduce disparities in survival rates between countries.

At present numerous continuing medical education (CME) events in the field are offered. However, to our knowledge, this is the first competence programme which focuses on both the clinical and the scientific competence improving quality in the management of patients with lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies.

The University of Zurich (UZH) in co-operation with the European School of Oncology, is presenting a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Lung Cancer Programme that was developed with the contribution of internationally recognised physicians and scientists in oncology and in the specific field of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies.
The Curriculum was established observing the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Clinical Practice Guidelines.

The Programme, which is offered on a part-time basis using blended-learning modules and seminars, is divided in three attendance seminars and four e-learning modules.

The three attendance seminars will consist of sessions organised only for the Programme participants and of sessions scheduled at other selected courses or conferences in lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies.

Over the duration of 12 months, the Programme provides a total of 420 hours work load of comprehensive learning, accordingly reported with 14 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System Points).

Three attendance seminars represent 90 hours of workload and 3 ECTS, and four e-learning modules represent 330 hours, reported with 11 ECTS.

Upon successful completion of the Programme, participants will obtain an academic Certificate issued by the University of Zurich assigning 14 ECTS credits, equalling a work load of 420 hours and a diploma supplement by the University of Zurich.
The diploma supplement will report the four e-learning modules and one module to contain the three seminars.


[1] Cancer incidence and mortality worldwide: Lyon, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2011 (IARC CancerBase No.10).
[2] Latest world cancer statistics: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2013 (www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2013/pdfs/pr223_E.pdf)
[3] Znaor A, van den Hurk C, Primic-Zakelj M, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality patterns in South Eastern Europe in last decade: Gaps persist compared with the rest of Europe. Eur J Cancer 2013; 49: 1683-91

Lung cancer