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Module

MMB8007 : Cancer Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Felicity May
  • Lecturer: Dr Tobias Menne, Dr Nicola Cresti, Professor Gareth Veal, Dr Yvette Drew
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The module aims are:

•       to develop a thorough awareness of clinical and scientific aspects of cancer as a disease
• to ensure knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that underlie specific aspects of tumour progression such as angionesis and metastasis
•       to introduce clinico-pathological concepts of disease onset and progression with focus on major types of human cancer
•       to increase understanding of current therapeutic options and how their benefit is evaluated
•       to explore key signal transduction pathways active in major human cancers that have been targeted therapeutically
•       to consider how agents that damage DNA have been targeted therapeutically
•       to research strategies for the development of novel biotherapies and report on how these are being introduced into clinical practice.

Summary:

The Cancer Studies Module is designed to expand and develop the understanding and knowledge acquired by students during their undergraduate studies. The module is suitable for students with a background in biological or medical sciences, medicine or dentistry. This systematic and integrated course is delivered by clinicians and scientists with appropriate expertise.

The Cancer Studies Module encompasses clinical and pathological aspects of cancer, underlying molecular mechanisms that can establish and promote cancer, current treatment options and how research is translated into novel treatment for patients. This module covers an area of major clinical import and aims to give students a broad systematic understanding of clinical and pathological aspects of the disease, its underlying molecular causes and its clinical management. Teaching will be themed around three major human cancers: breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and to a lesser extent leukaemia. The module aims to equip M level students with an insight into current research in cancer biology and how this is translated into the development of novel clinical therapies.

Outline Of Syllabus

The cancer studies module will cover:

      •       general terminology of cancer classification
      •       screening programmes and clinical diagnosis
      •       genetic and sporadic incidence
      •       clinical management: a surgeons perspective
      •       the underlying pathology of cancer
      •       molecular aspects of angiogenesis and metastasis
      •       hormone-dependency of human cancer
      •       signal transduction pathways that drive tumour progression
      •       current chemotherapeutic options
      •       pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic monitoring of chemotherapy
      •       identification of novel therapeutic targets
      •       development of novel drugs
      •       clinical management: an oncologists perspective
      •       introduction of novel drugs into the clinic.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Development Proposal
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Revision for take-home open book examination
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials231:0023:00Non-synchronous online: released at staggered intervals throughout the module
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion132:0032:00Critical Appraisal
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Present in person: demonstration
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study149:0049:00Preparing Notes from lectures and Reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk41:004:00Present in person: introductory sessions
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials will provide the students with specific knowledge from which to develop their private study. Together with the assignments these lecture materials will encourage the students to reflect both individually and in small groups on current research and clinical management of cancer. Students will practice critical appraisal, data interpretation, innovative thinking and presentation skills (all key skills outcomes). All of these activities relate directly to the learning outcomes above.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601M6024 hour take home online open book exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M20Critical appraisal of research paper
Report1M20Proposal for drug development
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 24 hour open book written paper tests the student’s knowledge base, comprehension and ability to discuss the subject knowledge critically. The appraisal of scientific literature tests application of knowledge, understanding and ability to critically evaluate and interpret a given set of research data. The written presentation tests the student’s ability to assess a clinical need, research and appraise the current literature, identify a potential therapeutic target and make a financial justification for their proposal (interrogative and communication skills) and the level of their understanding of a particular example in the context of the subject.

Reading Lists

Timetable