Course Descriptions


This course is intended for Life Science majors or those with a strong background in the Biological Sciences. It is recommended that students have a background in human physiology and/or anatomy and physiology.

This course may be used to fulfill the elective requirements of the Biological Sciences major.

This course may not be used to fulfill the elective requirements for the Genetics major.



Fall, Spring, and Summer




General Biology 01:119:115-116 or 01:119:101-102 Credit not given for both this course and Cancer 01:447:495

Course Description

Introduction to Cancer provides the student with an overview of conventional and state-of-the-art aspects of oncogenesis. Students will become familiar with the process involved in neoplastic transformation to the cancer phenotype through aspects of epidemiology, pathophysiology, virology, in vitro and in vivo cellular transformation and genetics. They will then apply these aspects to the understanding of classic therapeutic modalities and new state-of-the-art rational therapies. This comprehensive course will concentrate on the human disease process by applying clinical aspects of oncogenesis during a series of Grand Rounds discussions that will include recent patient clinical cases and their outcomes.

Subjects that will be addressed during the course include:

• The nature of cancer
• Pathophysiology of neoplasia
• Genetic changes in neoplasia and multi-step tumorigenesis
• Tumor Viruses
• Phenotypic characteristics of neoplastic cells
• Epidemiology of Cancer
• Cancer Therapeutics; traditional and emerging
• Rationale behind conventional triad and new state-of-the-art cancer treatments


Course URL

Canvas Course Site

Course Satisfies Learning Goals

This course is designed to provide the student with a general knowledge of the biology of cancer and oncogenesis, with particular emphasis on the clinical oncology process by applying it to the specific clinical case studies. By the end of the course, the student will have a comprehensive knowledge of cancer as it applies to the human body and its function.

Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy

There will be three equally weighted midterm examinations and a final exam. There will be participation grade that includes diverse factors for scoring purpose.

Course Materials


Course Closed?

If this course is closed,  please use the following link to add your name to the course wait list: Wait List Sign Up for Spring 2023 Courses. If you have any questions, please contact the Division of Life Sciences-Office of Undergraduate Instruction  at 848-445-2075 or visit our office at Nelson Labs B112, Busch Campus. 


Dr. Tara Cominski



** All information is subject to change at the discretion of the course coordinator.