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PhD Project Course in Molecular Cancer Biology BIO906

The course introduces the student to tumor and cancer terminology, cell transformation, tumor progression, invasion and metastasis, growth factors/receptors, signal transduction, cell cycle control, (proto)oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, mutagenesis/initiation, DNA repair, apoptosis, cancer immunology, telomerase and crisis, angiogenesis and targeted cancer therapy.

Course description for study year 2020-2021. Please note that changes may occur.

Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start

Spring, Autumn

Number of semesters


Exam semester

Spring, Autumn

Language of instruction


Offered by

Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience

Learning outcome
The aim of the course is to provide the student with knowledge of the molecular and cellular mechanisms important in tumor and cancer biology, to give a deeper understanding of the basis for future cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The aim of the course is to introduce the student into the molecular biology of cell transformation, tumor progression, invasion and metastasis. This encompasses description of different growth factors and receptors and downstream signal transduction, including control of the cell cycle, explaining the conversion of proto-oncogenes into oncogenes and the impact of tumor suppressor genes. Carcinogenesis is explained at the gene level by describing the processes of mutagenesis and DNA repair explaining the concept of initiation, as well as at the cell system level by the conversion of proto-oncogenes into oncogenes and the inactivation of tumor suppressor genes, both in multiple steps. Important is also cellular defense mechanisms like apoptosis and immune mechanisms and the relationship between telomerase and crisis. Tumor organization and communication between tumor and other cell types including the process of angiogenesis will be presented. The course is concluded by indicating targeted cancer therapies based on precise knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of cancer.The course contains a practical-oriented project report spesifically related to the PhD education in cancer biology.
Required prerequisite knowledge
Recommended prerequisites
Knowledge of the basic principles in molecular biology.
Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Project work 1/1 Pass - Fail

Course teacher(s)
Course coordinator: Svein Bjelland
Course teacher: Arne Klungland
Course teacher: Oddmund Nordgård
Head of Department: Ingunn Westvik Jolma
Method of work
Lectures, max 8 hours per week, and a practical-oriented project report specifically related to the PhD education in cancer biology.
Open for
Technology and Natural Science - PhD programme
Course assessment
Forms and/or discussion
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