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The Genetic Basis of Cancer

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The Genetic Basis of Cancer

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Academic year 2021/2022

Course ID
BIO0167B Pds 306-TB
Teacher
Prof. Alberto Bardelli
Degree course
[0101M22] Molecular Biotechnology
Year
1st year
Teaching period
First semester
Type
Distinctive
Credits/Recognition
3
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
BIO/17 - istologia
Delivery
Formal authority
Language
English
Attendance
Obligatory
Type of examination
Oral
Type of learning unit
modulo
Modular course
FUNCTIONAL GENOMICS (BIO0167 Pds 306-TB)
Prerequisites
To understand the contents of the class, students should have a solid background on General Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology, Biocemistry, Organic Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics.
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Sommario del corso

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Course objectives

The class aims at teaching students on the molecular basis of human cancer onset and progression. In particular, the course is focused on the most common genetic alterations (somatic mutations, genetic amplifications, deletions and translocations) present in solid tumors. Moreover, the course elaborates in depth about proto-oncogenes, oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Other discussed subjects are also the tissue specificity of the mutational profile of cancer genes, mutational signatures and the role of genome instability in tumor progression. Notions about causes and mechanisms regulating cell transdifferentiation in physiology and pathology as initial steps of cancer onset are reviewed. Finally, the role of genomic alterations in personalized cancer target therapy are examined, alongside the use of preclinical models and biomarkers to identify cancer patients likely to respond to personalized treatments.

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Results of learning outcomes

At the end of the course students must demonstrate knowledge on the topics of the lessons and the most recent literature regarding the role of genetic alterations in onset, progression, diagnosis and therapy of human cancers. In addition, student must be able to critically evaluate experimental approaches (in vitro and in vivo) that are the basis of current knowledge in this field of research.

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Program

Cancer: a genetic disease. The causes of cancer. Genetic alterations and tumor progression.Cancer genes: Oncogenes, Tumor Suppressor genes, Gatekeepers and Caretakers. Tumor related mutational signatures. Patient derived models (cells, organoids and PDX) to study tumor progression and response to therapy. Genetic profiling of human tumors. Genetic basis of targeted cancer therapy. Diagnosis and personalized treatment. Genomic driven biomarkers.

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Course delivery

Frontal lessons

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Learning assessment methods

Oral examination. The oral tests will be evaluated based on critical thinking skills, the quality of the presentation and knowledge of the subjects of the course. The critical discussion of a scientific publication is an integral part of the exam. The vote will be expressed as a fraction of 30 (eventually cum laude) and will represent the average of the marks of the all Functional Genomics modules.

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Support activities

Laboratory activities carried out by the students for their thesis are considered as practical exercises.

Suggested readings and bibliography

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The course deals with scientific topics in constant development and accordingly it is not possible to indicate a reference text. Attendance is highly recommended.



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Notes

Le modalità di svolgimento dell'attività didattica potranno subire variazioni in base alle limitazioni imposte dalla crisi sanitaria in corso. In ogni caso è assicurata la modalità a distanza per tutto l'anno accademico

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