A series of specialist lectures will be provided on the growth and differentiation of tumours and their interaction with the host. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the role of angiogenesis and the host's immune system as determinants of tumour growth. This module will develop the students understanding of the tumour in relationship to the whole organism. Topics include: tumour-host interactions, tumour vasculature (structure and function), tumour growth kinetics, angiogenesis and vascular mediated strategies, metabolism, the biology of metastasis, and molecular and cellular aspects of apoptosis.
This module is assessed by a one hour exam consisting of multiple-choice and short answer questions (100%).
An overview of immunological approaches to cancer immunotherapy and immunological mechanisms and how these may be used to optimise therapeutic approaches.
- Anti-tumour Antibody Responses
- Cellular Anti-tumour Immunity
- Natural Killer Cells
- CAR and redirected T Cell therapies
- Cytokine Therapy
- Immune evasion by tumours
Cell, Developmental and Molecular Biology
This introductory module has been specifically designed to cover the basic underlying biology required for a clear understanding of stem cell types and their function.
Techniques in Cancer Research
A series of lectures will be given on the various practical and analytical techniques commonly used in the scientific investigation of cancer. An extensive set of laboratory practicals are conducted to allow students to experience a variety of the techniques taught in lectures. The student will acquire a theoretical and practical understanding of the majority of techniques used in modern molecular biology. This will provide them with a basic grounding to be used in subsequent laboratory-based research.
Radiation Biology Applied to Therapy
A series of specialist lectures will provide an overview of the principles of the interaction of ionising radiation with living systems. Particular attention is given to the scientific basis of fractionation in radiotherapy, radiation pathology and normal tissue effects, tumour radiobiology and molecular aspects of radiation biology.
By the end of the module you will be able to describe the response of biological systems following exposure to ionising radiation, interpret the biological basis and consequences of conventional and novel fractionation regimes in radiotherapy and critically appraise the significance of new research findings.
This module is assessed by a 1500 word essay (20%) and a one hour exam consisting of multiple-choice and short answer questions (80%).
Cancer Statistics and Epidemiology
This module will give you an understanding of the principles underlying the design and analysis of epidemiological studies and clinical trials.
You will use a range of statistical sources in clinical research, and use those sources to describe and explain concepts fundamental to clinical research of all kinds. You will also learn to describe, interpret and appraise the applicability of statistical methods in a wide range of clinical and biological research.
Diagnostic Pathology of Cancer
A series of lectures on the clinical aspects of tumour growth and dissemination. You will become familiar with practical microscopy of human tumours; understand the technique of immunohistochemistry and be able to interpret results from basic immunohistochemical panels of tumour markers to arrive at a cellular phenotype; be familiar with nomenclature applied to histological and cytological features of tumours, and be familiar with the classification of human neoplastic conditions.
Topics include: adaptive and maladaptive patterns of tissue growth, neoplasia, in situ neoplasia, tumour classification, staging and grading, diagnostic techniques (immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, molecular markers) .
Drug Design and Pharmacology
At the end of the series of lectures and interactive workshops you will be able to: appreciate the interplay of chemistry, pharmacology, computational and clinical factors in the discovery and development of new anticancer therapeutic products. Your analytical skills will also be developed through scrutiny of controversial papers in drug design. You will work as a group when giving presentations at interactive workshop sessions.
This module is assessed by an essay submitted as coursework (30%), a 10 minute presentation (10%) and a final exam consisting of multiple-choice and short answer questions (60%).
This module enables students to experience contemporary research methods by engaging them to design a research programme and perform experiments, surveys, or other research activities aimed at solving a specific biomedical problem.
Each student will be allocated an academic supervisor with whom they will discuss the research project prior to commencement. Students will first collect, analyse data, read and collate previous results relevant to their project, then embark on a period of research before preparing, writing and submitting a scientific paper. They will write a clear and concise report and will discuss their work with academic members during an oral presentation.
The form of project may vary and it will be based on laboratory work, audit, patient studies or an extended literature review. The principal activities will be completion of the practical work and submission of a final report in the form of a dissertation and presentation.
Examples of previous projects include:
- Exploring the Key Molecular drivers of lymphovascular invasion in Invasive Breast Cancer
- Characterisation of the role of CD26 in Colorectal Cancer
- Targeting the tumour microenvironment
- Targeting redox homeostasis to improve therapeutic response in brain cancer.
- How does DNA damage affect splicing in leukaemia cells?
- Investigating the arginine dependence of Childhood brain tumours- a novel therapeutic target
- Simultaneously targeting BCL-2 and MCL-1 in myeloma
- Targeting the F-box proteins in cultured colorectal cancer cell lines, a potential new biomarker for early detection of tumour progression
- An in vivo investigation into the mechanism of action of the cannabis derivative, Cannabidiol, on paediatric brain tumour cell lines
- Investigating the metabolic ‘Achilles heel’ of paediatric gliomas- a potential therapeutic target
- Investigating the role of Ran GTPase signalling in malignant melanoma
- Targeting NPM in acute myeloid leukaemia
- The effect of BET proteins knockdown on 3D (spheroid) growth and hypoxia in triple-negative breast cancer
- Eradication of Leukaemia Cells in Bespoke Synthetic Niche Models
- The regulation of gene expression in bile duct cancer cells
- Understanding the mesenchymal niche in breast cancer
- Characterisation of the early metastatic phenotype in colorectal cancer
- Expression of DARPP-32 related proteins in ovarian cancer
- Keeping blood vessels quiet!
Cancer Treatment and Chemotherapy
A series of specialist lectures on medical oncology with emphasis given to current and novel treatment protocols.
This module includes:
- Health economics
- Organisation of cancer services
- Surgical management of cancer
- Principles of chemotherapy
- Endocrine therapy
- Novel approaches to cancer therapy/gene therapy
This is a module comprises one two-hour lecture per week (26 hours). It is assessed by a one hour exam consisting of MCQ’s and short essay questions.
Clinical Pharmacology and Systematic Therapies
This is a series of specialist lectures on medical oncology with special emphasis given to current and novel treatment protocols.
- chemotherapy - basic principles
- pharmacology of analgesiscs, steroids and anti-emetics
- high dose chemotherapy approaches
- alkylating agents/pyrimidine antimetabolites/antifolates
- topoisomerase inhibition
- complications of cancer treatment
- drug resistance and other related topics
This module comprises one two-hour lecture per week (26 hours). It is assessed by a one hour exam consisting of multiple choice and short essay questions.