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Cancer Biology (ICM6020)

Dept. responsible. Barts Cancer Institute

Course organiser: Dr S-A Martin, sarah.martin@qmul.ac.uk

As a major world disease with high mortality and morbidity along with its large impact on health services, cancer has become a topic that medical students want to learn about. The module will examine the scope of cancer, its causes, how to diagnose it, how to treat it and how it should be assessed, both experimentally and clinically.

Key themes:  The module will start with the definition of neoplasia and will go on to describe the macro- and microscopic appearance of a range of specific tumours and current ideas on the molecular and genetic basis of their pathogenesis. The transformation from normal to malignant tissue will be described together with the manner in which tumours grow and spread. The course will end with an overview of tumour diagnosis and general methods of treatment (pharmacological, radiotherapeutic and surgical).

This is a taught module delivered by lectures. The module starts with the definition of neoplasia and will describe the macro and micro appearance of a range of specific tumours and current ideas on the molecular and genetic basis of their pathogenesis. The transformation from normal to malignant tissue will be covered together with the manner in which tumours grow and spread. The course will end with an overview of tumour diagnosis and treatment, the latter including pharmacological, surgical and radiotherapeutic regimens.

On completion of this course, you should have a clear idea of the distinction between benign and malignant neoplasia and the factors, which cause a tissue to loose its ability to control its growth and proliferation. You will be able to recognise the histological features of various tumours and have an overview of current techniques for their diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. However, as a basic science course, the focus will be on the underlying molecular biological mechanisms of tissue transformation and tumour growth, rather than clinical aspects of cancer.

Cancer Biology assessment 80% exam, 20% coursework

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