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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Undergraduate Course: Cancer Biology and Medicine (BIME10030)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will consider the genetic, molecular and cell biological processes involved in susceptibility to cancer and in the initiation and progression of the disease and show how this knowledge is being translated into improved cancer therapies. The requirement for multiple genetic changes in the development of a metastatic cancer will be illustrated and the role of tumour suppressor genes and oncogenes will be described. The role of DNA repair in preventing genome instability will be discussed and some inherited DNA repair deficiency/ cancer susceptibility syndromes will be described. Alterations in cell cycle control, in proliferative cell signalling and cell death pathways in cancer cells will all be covered. Conventional surgical, radiotherapeutic and chemotherapeutic cancer treatments will be considered and new rational therapies that take into account both individual and cancer biodiversity will be discussed and illustrated for a number of major cancers: breast, ovarian, colorectal, lung and melanoma. Molecular profiling of cancers, identification of novel therapeutic targets, cancer drug development and trials of novel cancer therapies will all be considered and the use of animal models in cancer research will be discussed. The course will consist mostly of lectures, with some teacher-led discussions and non-assessed presentations by students working in groups. Before any student oral presentations there will be a feedback session on an assessed exercise where individual students will be asked to prepare and submit a 5-slide Powerpoint presentation on an early topic from the course.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  24
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 42, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 4, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 147 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) In course 40% (1 essay 30%; 1 Powerpoint presentation [submitted electronically not presented orally] 10%)
Exam 60%
Feedback There will be a feedback session after Assessment 1 (PowerPoint presentation) and Assessment 2 (Essay). Written feedback will also be provided on both Assessments. Verbal feedback will also be given after each Group Presentation.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Cancer Biology and Medicine1:30
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand how different genetic, molecular and cell biological processes are involved in susceptibility to cancer and in the initiation and progression of the disease.
  2. Understand the achievements and limitations of conventional cancer therapies, and understand how knowledge of cancer biology can be translated into improved cancer therapies.
  3. Understand the role of animal models in cancer research.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to illustrate and present information regarding a specialised cancer topic in a PowerPoint presentation.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to discuss the different pathways by which cancer cells invade and metastasise and the challenges that this presents for new therapeutic interventions.
Reading List
The Biology of Cancer by RA Weinberg is very good for much of the non-medical material covered. Second Edition, 2014, ISBN 978-0-8153-4220-5. First Edition, 2007, ISBN 0-8153-4076-1 is still good. There are copies of both in the Reserve Section of the Main Library.

There is a separate reading list for each topic. The papers are all available as pdfs on Learn
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr David Melton
Tel: (0131 6)50 5393/5396
Course secretaryMs Maria Schmidke
Tel: (0131 6)50 3161
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