Objectives
  • To be able to perform specialist assessment, treatment and counselling of patients with oesophageal cancer

Awareness
  • Appreciation of the existence of different biological and pathological subtypes of oesophageal cancer for the selection of appropriate treatment strategies

  • Appreciation of the principles of endoscopic management for early-stage oesophageal cancer

  • Awareness of the existence of different prognostic factors

  • Awareness of the importance of the multimodality approach to treat patients with oesophageal cancer

  • Awareness of the importance of adequate imaging techniques to allow for exact pretreatment staging

  • Awareness of the established biomarkers guiding therapy for oesophageal cancer

Knowledge
  • Familiarity with the implications of the different biological and pathological subtypes of oesophageal cancer in order to select appropriate treatment strategies

  • Familiarity that oesophageal cancer in early stages is treated differently

  • Understanding of the pattern of metastasis of oesophageal cancer

  • Familiarity with the indications and diagnostic tools available for oesophageal cancer (such as upper endoscopy with or without endoscopic ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET)/CT imaging) and their implications for an appropriate therapeutic strategy

  • Understanding of the importance of cancer precursor lesions and premalignant conditions for the development of oesophageal cancer

  • Familiarity with the risk assessment of prognostic factors, especially the TNM staging system for oesophageal cancer

  • Familiarity with the indications and value of the multimodality approach of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery in non-metastatic oesophageal cancer

  • Understanding that certain localised oesophageal cancers can be treated with chemotherapy and irradiation with curative intent

  • Understanding of the role of chemotherapy in the management of patients with advanced oesophageal cancer

  • Familiarity with hereditary syndromes, the management of families with these and the implications for individual patients

  • Understanding of the value of lines of treatment in case of disease progression and in the continuum of care

  • Understanding of the symptoms and complications that derive from disease progression and those that are treatment-associated in the context of being familiar with supportive and palliative care settings

  • Understanding of the neoadjuvant and perioperative treatment setting

Skills
  • Ability to contribute actively to a variety of oesophageal cancer scenarios and patient presentations

  • Ability to discuss critically the treatment options and recommendations for various phases of the disease (early and metastatic disease)

  • Ability to perform a history and physical examination in oesophageal patients with cancer, including different subtypes and different stages of disease

  • Ability to follow individual patients with oesophageal cancer throughout their patient history from initial diagnosis to hospice care

  • Ability to contribute to discussions on general management strategies in order to understand all the considerations on which treatment to use and which sequence to select for the multidisciplinary strategy

  • Ability to prescribe various chemotherapeutic agents considering their potential interactions with radiation therapy

  • Ability to recognise conditions or clinical prognostic factors such as performance status, tumour load, number of metastases prior adjuvant chemotherapy, concomitant diseases and other previous therapies that are important for considering when to start and to stop a treatment or switch to another option

  • Ability to manage side effects of various chemotherapeutic agents

  • Ability to discuss prevention strategies with patients and, if applicable, potential implications for family members