The Genetic Basis of Cancer
The Genetic Basis of Cancer
Academic year 2017/2018
- Course ID
- Prof. Alberto Bardelli
- Modular course
- Functional Genomics (BIO0167)
- Degree course
- [0101M21] Molecular Biotechnology
- 1st year
- Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
- BIO/17 - istologia
- Formal authority
- Type of examination
- To understand the contents of the class, students should have a solid background on General Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics.
Sommario del corso
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 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.
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.
Frontal lessons, 2 hours per week
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 other Functional Genomics courses.
Laboratory activities carried out by the students for their thesis are considered as practical exercises.
Cancer: a genetic disease The causes of cancer Genetic alterations and tumor progression Cancer genes: Oncogenes, Tumor Suppressor genes, Gatekeepers and Caretakers Cell and animal models to study tumor progression Genetic profiling of human tumors Genetic basis of targeted cancer therapy Genetic alterations: diagnosis and personalized treatment
Suggested readings and bibliography
The course deals with scientific topics in constant development and accordingly it is not possible to indicate a reference text. Attendance is highly recommended.