Curriculum

During the Advanced Oncology Fellowship, you spend time in the outpatient setting focusing on the management of acute and chronic oncologic disorders and supportive care of patients with oncologic disorders.

Clinical track options

Within each subspecialty clinical track, time is divided among outpatient oncology clinics, with exposure to multidisciplinary teams consisting of other medical specialties, disease-specific surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, interventionalists and radiation oncologists.

Presentation and participation in multidisciplinary tumor boards within each subspecialty is expected. Within each subspecialty track of the Advanced Oncology Fellowship, opportunities for exposure to other specialties in the multidisciplinary team to broaden expertise are available:

Thoracic malignancies track

You may elect to rotate within one of these specialties to further develop expertise:

  • Radiation oncology
  • Pulmonary medicine
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Thoracic radiology

Gynecologic malignancies track

You may elect to rotate within one of these specialties to further develop expertise:

  • Gynecologic surgical clinic
  • Gynecologic genetics counseling clinic

Gastroenterologic malignancies track

You may elect to rotate within one of these specialties to further develop expertise:

  • Colorectal surgery
  • Hepatobiliary surgery
  • Gastrointestinal neoplasia
  • Hepatobiliary neoplasia
  • Gastrointestinal procedural clinics
  • Radiation oncology

Endocrine malignancies track

You may elect to rotate within one of these specialties to further develop expertise:

  • Laboratory medicine and pathology
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Radiation oncology
  • Surgery
  • Interventional radiology

Melanoma track

You may elect to rotate within one of these specialties to further develop expertise:

  • Dermatology
  • Melanoma surgery
  • Radiation oncology
  • Melanoma research (lab or clinical)
  • Tumor immunology

Breast oncology track

You may elect to rotate within one of these specialties to further develop expertise:

  • Radiation oncology
  • Breast surgery
  • Radiology
  • Pathology

Research training in clinical tracks

Research opportunities at Mayo Clinic are outstanding. Approximately half of your the time during a clinical track in the Advanced Oncology Fellowship is dedicated to research.

You have the opportunity to conduct a research project in basic, translational or clinical research with Mayo Clinic investigators. Basic science projects are available in cooperation with colleagues in biochemistry, experimental pathology, immunology, molecular biology, molecular genetics and pharmacology. Fellows are expected to give presentations of research conducted to the Division of Medical Oncology at the end of the academic year.

Drug Development/Phase I Clinical Trials Track option

During the one-year program, fellows complete didactic training, rotate through various clinical and laboratory departments, and write a clinical protocol. All clinical trials track fellows are required to participate in the didactic Drug Development Tutorial Course as well as other oncology fellow seminars.

To ensure that you receive a firm grounding in cancer-drug development, clinical trials, and the full spectrum of identifying a drug candidate and developing it for clinical use, you are required to rotate through these areas of practical training:

  • Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) laboratory
  • Genomics core
  • Molecular pathology laboratory
  • Protocol development office
  • Clinical trials office
  • Various committees dealing with clinical cancer research

Additionally, trainees rotate through the committees below, which are involved in study development from concept stage to protocol development and study performance.

  • Disease-Oriented Group (DOG). DOGs are Cancer Center research groups composed of clinicians and basic scientists who are engaged in research and treatment of specific cancers.
  • Scientific Review Committee (SRC). The SRC is a committee mandated by the National Cancer Institute that meets monthly to review the scientific merit of each proposed therapeutic and nontherapeutic clinical study. SRC approval is needed before the study can be submitted to the IRB.
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB). The clinical trials track option includes a rotation in IRB.
  • Office for Clinical Trials. Fellows rotate through all areas of the Office for Clinical Trials, including protocol development, regulatory, data management and budgeting.

Didactic training

Clinical conferences, seminars, small discussion groups, journal clubs and one-on-one instruction are all an integral part of clinical and clinical trials tracks in the Advanced Oncology Fellowship. These include oncology core and clinical conferences, and oncology visiting-faculty dinners.

Teaching opportunities

Fellows in either clinical or clinical trials tracks have the opportunity to teach trainees rotating through similar assignments.

Evaluation

To ensure that you gain proficiency and develop corresponding technical skills, your performance is monitored carefully throughout the Advanced Oncology Fellowship. You are formally evaluated by supervising faculty members upon completion of each clinical rotation and meet with the program director to review these evaluations. In addition, you regularly evaluate the faculty to confirm that your educational goals are being met.