🌱Aadam's Garden


Search IconIcon to open search

JHU - Introduction to the Biology of Cancer

Last updated Mar 6, 2023


About this Course
The course introduces the molecular biology of cancer (oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes) as well as the biologic hallmarks of cancer. The course also describes the risk factors for the major cancers worldwide, including lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, and stomach cancer. We explain how cancer is staged, the major ways cancer is found by imaging, and how the major cancers are treated.

In addition to the core materials, this course includes two Honors lessons devoted to cancers of the liver and prostate.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the major types of cancer worldwide. (Lecture 1)
  • Describe how genes contribute to the risk and growth of cancer. (Lecture 2)
  • List and describe the ten cellular hallmarks of cancer. (Lecture 3)
  • Define metastasis, and identify the major steps in the metastatic process. (Lecture 4)
  • Describe the role of imaging in the screening, diagnosis, staging, and treatments of cancer. (Lecture 5)
  • Explain how cancer is treated. (Lecture 6)

We hope that this course gives you a basic understanding of cancer biology and treatment. The course is not designed for patients seeking treatment guidance – but it can help you understand how cancer develops and provides a framework for understanding cancer diagnosis and treatment.

# Suggested Reading List

# Week 1 – Incidence and Etiology of Cancer

# Cancer Terms and Definitions

# What is Cancer?

# Where Does the Word “Cancer” come From?

# Where Does the Word “Oncology” come From?

# What Does “Metastasis” Mean?

# Where Does Cancer Start?

# The Common Cancers

# Lung Cancer

# Colon Cancer

# Breast Cancer

# Prostate Cancer

# Liver Cancer

# Stomach Cancer

# Risk Factor Summation

# Week 2 – Genetics of Cancer

# Basic Introduction to Genetics

# Genetic Variation and Mutation

# Two-Hit Hypothesis and Genomic Instability

# Week 3 – Ten Cellular Hallmarks of Cancer

# Terms

# The Eukaryotic Cell

# Cellular Hallmarks of Cancer Cells

All hallmarks of cancer promote metastasis

The Ten Cellular Hallmarks of Cancer: jhu-ten-cellular-hallmarks-cancer.png

# 1. Replicative Immortality

# 2. Genome Instability

# 3. Evasion of Growth Suppressor Signals

# 4. Resistance to Cell Death

# 5. Sustained Proliferation

# 6. Altered Metabolism

# 7. Avoiding Immune Destruction

# 8. Tumor-Promoting Inflammation

# 9. Induction of Angiogenesis

# 10. Activation of Invasion and Metastasis

# Key Steps During Metastasis

# Key Step 1: Invasion (Breaking through the ECM)

# Key Step 2: Intravasation (Cells Get into the Blood)

# Key Step 3: Survival during Systemic Circulation

# Key Step 4: Extravasation

# Week 4 – Metastasis: The Real Killer

# Introduction to Metastasis

# History of Cancer Metastasis

# How Does Metastasis Kill People?

# TNM Staging

# The Metastatic Process

# Step 1: Primary Tumor Growth (Uncontrolled Cell Division)
# Step 2: Angiogenesis (New Blood Vessel Formation)
# Step 3: Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition — EMT (Cells Become mobile)
# Step 4: Invasion (Breaking through the ECM)
# Step 5: Intravasation (Cells Get into the blood)


# Step 6: Survival during Systemic Circulation (Cancer Cells don’t Die like They should)

Key Step 3: Survival during Systemic Circulation

# Step 7: Extravasation (Cells Get to Their Destination and Leave the blood)
# Step 8: Dormancy and/or Secondary Tumor Growth (Cells Grow or don’t)

# The Seed and Soil Hypothesis — Stephen Paget

# Week 5 – Imaging in Oncology

# Introduction to Imaging

# Types of Imaging

# Imaging in Clinical Oncology

# Theory of Oligometastasis and how Treatment is Supported by Imaging

# Week 6 – Treatment

# Types of Treatment

# Types of Treatments for Individual Cancers