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Key Information

Applicarions closed.

The first edition of the Postgraduate Programme in OncoHumanities will begin in September 2023. This is the first competence programme to focus on advancing knowledge and humanistic sensitivity in the management of cancer patients, in order to achieve person centred care attitudes based on the humanisation of care, empowerment of patients and respect for their diversity.

This programme, which is offered on a part-time basis over 10 months, is divided into three in-person seminars and three online modules.

Upon successful completion of the Programme, participants will obtain an academic certificate issued by the European School of Oncology and the University of Bologna assigning 18 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System Points (ECTS), equalling a total work load (attending lectures and seminars + personal work) of 450 hours.

Download the course's brochure here

Related Article on

The Oncohumanities training programme.



21-24 September 2023

Chair: G. Boniolo

Module 1

Critical reasoning in clinic

(In person) Introduction (G. Boniolo, F. Peccatori)
  Causality in oncology (R. Campaner)
  Deterministic, probabilistic and Bayesian reasoning in diagnosis and prognosis (N. Orsini)
  Clinical trials (C. Sessa)
  Module test (30 questions) (G. Boniolo, F. Peccatori)

September 2023-January 2024

 Chair: G. Boniolo

Module 2


(Online)  Gender diversity (A. May Berner, S.Oertelt-Prigione, B.Oezdemir)
   Cultural diversity (D. Carrieri, M.M. Reza)
   Spiritual diversity (A. Visser-Nieraeth)
   Module test (30 questions) (G. Boniolo)
 25-28 January 2024  Chair: G. Biasco, N. Cherny

Module 3

End of life, supportive care and palliation

(In person) End of life and Vunerability (S. Zullo)
  Supportive Care & Palliative care (G. Biasco, N. Cherny)
  Phase One treatments (G. Biasco, S. Salvagni)
  Module test (30 questions) (G. Biasco S. Zullo)
  Seragnoli Lecture
  Module test (30 questions) (G. Biasco S. Zullo)
February -March 2024 Chair: A. Ardizzoni – S. Holm

Module 4

Screening and tests

(Online) Oncological screenings (A. Ardizzoni, S. Holm)
  End of life active oncological treatments (A. Ardizzoni, S. Holm)
  Overdiagnosis and overtreatment (A. Ardizzoni, S. Holm)
  Hereditary cancers and stigma (A. Ardizzoni, S. Holm)
  Preventive surgery (A. Ardizzoni, S. Holm)
  Module test (30 questions) (A A. Ardizzoni, S. Holm)
May 2024 Chair: F. Peccatori

Module 5

Clinical situations

(Online) Aging (A. Blasimme)
  Paediatrics (A.Biondi)
  Oncofertility (I. de Melo-Martin)
  Survivorship (D. Bell)
  Module test (30 questions) (F. Peccatori)
27-30 June 2024 Chair: S. Vantin

Module 6

Patient centeredness and empowerment

(In person) Doctor-patient relation and individual differences (V. Colonnello)
  Ethical counselling (L. De Panfilis)
  Planning treatments, patient preferences and consent (M. Lalatta, S. Vantin)
  Right to refuse treatments (M. Lalatta, S. Vantin)
  Research biobanks and open consent (M. Lalatta, S. Vantin)
  Certificate Exam (G. Boniolo, F. Peccatori)




Admission to the Postgraduate Programme in Oncohumanities (PPOH) will be by competitive application only and the selection will be based on the eligibility criteria and on the selection procedure.

Complete applications will be considered if received with all required documents and within the deadline. Attendance is limited to 25 participants per cohort.

The selection will be based on completed application documents and on the eligibility criteria.

Decisions on admissions are made by the appointed Scientific Director Scientific and Scientific Co- Ordinator.


The programme is designed for oncologists, nurses, humanistic experts focusing on oncological topics, but it is equally accessible to graduates in natural science and humanities, who are engaged in the field of oncology.

Requirements for eligibility for the programme:

  • Master degrees awarded pursuant to Ministerial Decree 270/04 (or  second-cycle degrees awarded under the degree programme systems in force prior to Ministerial Decree DM 509/99) in the following disciplinary areas/degree programme classes: A four-year degree in Medicine or Nursing Sciences from a University or College is required, or a degree in another scientific or humanistic field equal to at least 4-year a course of study of and with a profile that highlights a strong interest in biomedical issues and, more specifically, oncology.
  • Two-year Master degree awarded abroad in the above-said disciplinary areas and valid for admission to the programme.
  • Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English.


To obtain the Certificate of Competence in OncoHumanities, it will be compulsory that participants attend 75% of all modules according to the provided time-line.


The organisers bear no responsibility for untoward events in relation to the participation in the seminars. Participants are advised to take out their own personal and travel insurance coverage.


In keeping with the ESO mission, the cost of the Oncohumanities postgraduate programme is generously subsidized by the European School of Oncology (ESO).

The tuition fee which remains to be paid by each participant is EUR 5.400.

In a further effort to make the cost of this programme accessible to professionals living in emerging economies, a discounted fee of EUR 3.000 will be applied to residents of lower- and middle-income countries as defined by The World Bank.

The tuition fee includes:

  • Access to the in-person seminars foreseen by the programme
  • Access to the online modules via a dedicated online platform
  • Access to all exams required by the programme

The tuition fee does not include:

  • Travel to the in-person seminars

Renunciation or withdrawal

In case of renunciation or withdrawal payment will not be refunded.

Our Experts

Scientific Coordinator ESO

  • Giovanni Boniolo

Scientific Director UNIBO

  • Francesco Bianchini


Andrea Ardizzoni, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, IT
Dany Bell, Macmillan Cancer Support, London, UK
Guido Biasco, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, IT
Francesco Bianchini, Department of Philosophy and Communication. University of Bologna, Bologna, IT
Alessandro Blasimme, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich, CH
Andrea Biondi, School of Medicine and Surgery, University Milano Bicocca, IT
Giovanni Boniolo, European School of Oncology, Milan, IT
Raffaella Campaner, Department of Philosophy and Communication. University of Bologna, Bologna, IT
Daniele Carrieri, Medical School, University of Exeter, UK
Nathan Cherny, Shaare Zedek Medical Centre, Jerusalem, IL
Valentina Colonnello, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, IT
Inmaculada de Melo-Martin, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, US
Ludovica De Panfilis, AUSL of Reggio Emilia, IT
Alison May Berner, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, UK
Søren Holm, School of Social Sciences, The University of Manchester, UK
Marina Lalatta Costerbosa, Department of Philosophy and Communication, University of Bologna, Bologna, IT
Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, Department of Primary and Community Care, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, NL
Berna Oezdemir, Department of Oncology, University of Berne, Berne, CH
Nicola Orsini, Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institute, SE
Fedro Peccatori, European School of Oncology, Milan, Italy
Musarrat Maisha Reza, Medical School, University of Exeter, UK
Stefania Salvagni, Policlinico S.Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy
Cristiana Sessa, Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, Bellinzona, CH
Serena Vantin, Department of Philosophy and Communication, University of Bologna, Bologna, IT
Anja Visser-Nieraeth, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen, NL
Silvia Zullo, Department of Legal Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, IT

Conceptual Development

  • Giovanni Boniolo, ESO
  • Raffaella Campaner, UNIBO
  • Fedro Peccatori, ESO


  • Dolores Knupfer, ESO, Bellinzona, Switzerland


Application & programme time-line

Application deadline: 29 June 2023

All in-person seminars will take place at the Bentivoglio Campus, Italy

Seminar 1:  21-24 September 2023

Seminar 2:   25-28 January 2024

Seminar 3 and programme conclusion:  27-30 June 2024

For further information please contact: Dolores Knupfer, dknupfer@eso.net