Cancer Therapeutics:from the laboratory to the clinic - BI840

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
(version 3)
Spring 7 15 (7.5) PROF M Garrett checkmark-circle


This module provides students with critical perspectives upon current and emerging cancer therapies, how they are developed, and how they are applied in the clinical setting. The harnessing of scientific knowledge in the treatment of disease requires a complex series of highly regulated studies that must be performed under highly-regulated legal and ethical frameworks. This module reviews the transition from promising cancer therapy to fully realised therapeutic agent, using specific therapies as examples. It will also discuss the emerging potential for personalised medicine based on patient-specific molecular biomarkers.


Contact hours

Lectures and seminars (27 h)
Seminar preparation (57 h)
Self study (66 h)

Method of assessment

Written essay critically evaluating translational research data and clinical management pathways (1,000 words) (50%)
Mock report for the Medical Health Research Agency or National Institute for Clinical Excellence (2,000 words) (50%)

Indicative reading

Standard Pharmacology texts, (e.g. Rang, Dale and Ritter, Pharmacology, 6th Edition) are already stocked in the Templeman Library, and these will provide a sufficient primer for this module. Further reading material will be provided by specific journal articles which will be used to propose a case study-driven approach and will take into account published data from laboratory-based and clinical studies. The Templeman Library already have access to the key journals that will allow this study approach.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Understand and critically evaluate current clinical management of cancer
2. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of stages of pharmaceutical development in harnessing laboratory-based research through pre-clinical and in vivo evaluation and clinical trials
3. Understand the industrial and regulatory processes that lead to the licensing of therapeutic drugs
4. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the development of specific therapeutic agents and the complex processes that determine progression from the bench to the clinic, for instance small chemical entities and antibody conjugates
5. Demonstrate cutting edge understanding and knowledge ofthe complexity of personalisation of medicine in the "omics" era.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Communication: ability to organise information clearly, present information in oral and written form, adapt presentation for different audiences
2. Analytical skills: interpretation of data, marshalling of information from published sources, critical evaluation of own research and that of others
3. Reflection: make use of constructive informal feedback from staff and peers and assess own progress to enhance performance and personal skills
4. Self-motivation and independence: time and workload management in order to meet personal targets and imposed deadlines
5. Information technology: use of appropriate technology to retrieve, analyse and present scientific information


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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