• Introduction to Cancer provides an overview of biomedical aspects of malignancy as deviations from the normal biological processes. It builds upon some topics covered in pre-requisite courses, including molecules, cells, tissues, and organisms; and expands upon concepts such as homeostasis and regulation. The course reviews how specific alterations in normal genetic, cellular, and physiological processes are altered in cancer, and how the human systems respond to cancer cells and tumors. The clinical application of these facts and concepts for diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, and personalized therapy are discussed. Some specific cancer types are selected as examples, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, melanoma, leukemia, and others. Current unmet medical challenges and possible future solutions are included.
  • Semester Offered: Fall
  • Credits: 3
  • Course URL: Canvas

Prerequisites:

General Biology 01:119:115-116 or 01:119:101-102

Course Description

Introduction to Cancer provides an overview of biomedical aspects of malignancy as deviations from the normal biological processes. It builds upon some topics covered in pre-requisite courses, including molecules, cells, tissues, and organisms; and expands upon concepts such as homeostasis and regulation. The course reviews how specific alterations in normal genetic, cellular, and physiological processes are altered in cancer, and how the human systems respond to cancer cells and tumors. The clinical application of these facts and concepts for diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, and personalized therapy are discussed. Some specific cancer types are selected as examples, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, melanoma, leukemia, and others. Current unmet medical challenges and possible future solutions are included.

Subjects that will be addressed during the course may include:

  • Biology and genetics of cells and organisms
  • The nature of cancer
  • Cellular and viral oncogenes
  • Oncoproteins: receptors, signal transduction, cell cycle control
  • Tumor suppressor genes
  • Tumor progression and tumor evolution
  • Tumor heterogeneity and tumor microenvironment
  • Invasion and metastasis
  • Cancer prevention
  • Clinical oncology: therapy and precision medicine

Course Syllabus 

Fall 2023 Syllabus (Fall 2024 will be updated soon)

Course LMS

Canvas

Course Satisfies Departmental  Learning Goals

  • Knowledge specific goals: Know the terms, concepts and theories in genetics.
  • Integrate the material from multiple courses and research. That is, to think holistically and to see the whole as well as the parts

Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy

There will be three equally weighted examinations, each 70 min in length.

Course Materials

Required textbook:  The Biology of Cancer, 3rd edition. Robert A. Weinberg. W.W. Norton & Co. Paperback ISBN 978-0-393-88765-5, or eBOOK ISBN 978-0-393-88764-8 (Bookstore), or online order: digital.wwnorton.com/cancer3. Also, a copy will be available in the Library of Science and Medicine on the Busch Campus. 

Course Closed?

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

Faculty

Fall semester: Dr. David E. Axelrod, Department of Genetics, Nelson Biolabs, Room B341