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Introduction to Cancer Biology

3rd Term
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Academic Year
2024 - 2025
Instruction Method
Asynchronous Online
Auditors Allowed
Yes, with instructor consent
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
Every Year
Cancer is defined as uncontrollable cell growth. The complexities of the causes and the different types of cells that give rise to this disease have underscored the need for a better understanding of the basic biology of cancer. Advancements in basic and biomedical research have led to more effective treatments, enhanced detection methods, and better prevention strategies. This course aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the biology and pathology of cancer.
Educates on the principles of cancer biology, including the various genetic and molecular changes normal cells undergo during transformation into malignant cancer cells. Helps to gain an understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms that go awry, thereby providing optimal conditions for cancer. Explores the role of mutations in cancer cells, and how they lead to the dysregulation of essential biological properties like programmed cell death, cell proliferation and differentiation. Focuses on the interface of cancer and medicine. Compares classical treatment methods with newer treatment strategies like targeted therapies. Explores the challenges associated with diagnosing cancers, as well as ways in which to prevent cancer.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify the common cellular and molecular mechanisms that are deregulated in cancerous cells, and how their deregulation contribute to the development of cancer
  2. Explain the role gene mutations play in the development of cancer
  3. Explain how cancer manifests itself in the human body
  4. Analyze the biological rationale for both traditional chemotherapies and novel targeted therapeutic approaches and describe both the benefits and limitations of each option
  5. Describe an oncogene and why it is important in cancer development
  6. Explain the cell cycle, its regulation, and how cell dysfunction can lead to cancer
  7. Describe the function of tumor suppressor genes
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 20% Knowledge Check Quizzes
  • 35% Midterm
  • 45% Final Exam
Enrollment Restriction
Undergraduate students are required to obtain instructor permission to register.