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Course Overview

What is the one thing that all cancers have in common? They begin as mutant or rebel cells! In this course we will explore how changes in cancer genetics and epigenetics enables these cells to grow uncontrollably, by exploiting our blood vessels and immune system along with other systemic changes.

Finally, we will discuss how our understanding of genetics has helped both refine conventional treatments like radiation and chemotherapy, and inform the design of new treatments that can target specific proteins within cancer cells.

  • What is cancer and why do we get it?
  • How rogue cells behave: oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes and apoptosis in cancer development
  • Genetic pathways to cancer: angiogenesis, metastasis, cancer stem cells and immune cells in cancer development
  • Diagnostics and treatments: success and challenges of traditional (radiotherapy /chemotherapy) and targeted (immunotherapy) approaches

The course is designed as a beginner’s guide to cancer genetics and would appeal to school students, teachers, undergraduates, pharmacists, nurses, medical practitioners, or indeed anyone interested in understanding the molecular basis of cancer.

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…
  • Summarise the risk factors in cancer development
  • Explore the genetics and epigenetics of cancer, particularly the influence of genes involved in oncogenesis, apoptosis, angiogenesis and metastasis
  • Discuss the role of cancer stem cells and immune cells in cancer development
  • Explain the rationale underlying cancer therapies and the challenges in cancer treatment

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