25th November 2015

Education Centre, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester

Course description:

There are no academic pre-requisites for the Cancer Researchers' Introductory Course. Participants may hold any role in the Cancer Dvision and will be new, or relatively new, in post (ideally within 3 months). The course is introductory and pre-supposes only a basic understanding of biology. A short review of normal cell biology is provided as pre-reading.

Learning Outcomes:
  • To understand the meaning of the key words and terminology in routine use in cancer research.
  • To investigate the biological basis of cancer and the link to the mechanism of action of treatments.
  • To explore the common pathways for cancer patients from diagnosis and through the different treatment modalities.
  • To review the current treatments and their adverse events.
  • To appreciate the impact of a cancer diagnosis on a patient and their family and to consider survivorship.

  • Nature and symptoms of cancer, incidence & survival rates in the UK.
Cell Biology:
  • Normal cell physiology.
  • Abnormal features of cancer cell function.
  • Genetic basis of cancer.
  • Identification of potential treatment targets.
Exercise 1 Risk Factor (small group)

Diagnosis & Investigations:
  • Cancer Care Pathway, screening and timelines.
  • Investigations: direct assessment (i.e.,examination, medical history, performance, status, quality of life).
  • Surgery (i.e.,biopsy, aspiration, laproscopy).
  • Laboratory (i.e.,histology, biomarkers, haematology, cytogenetics).
  • Scans (i.e.,x-ray, computerised tomography (i.e.,RECIST), magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, scopes).
Exercise 2 Parameter & Investigation Linking (i.e.,small group)
What is considered in a diagnosis; tumour sites, histological cell type, status & grade
Exercise 3 Patients Experience (i.e.,small group) leading to need for Holistic Needs Assessment

Cancer treatment:
  • Re-visist Cancer Care Pathway.
  • Treatment decision.
  • Role of multidisciplinary teams.
  • Overall aims of treatment.
  • Clinical trial consideration for efficacy & safety.
  • Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events.

  • Overview.
  • How does it work?.
  • What happens to the patient during treatment, and what are the possible adverse events?

  • Overview.
  • External and internal radiotherapy.
  • How does it work?
  • What happens to the patient during treatment and what are the possible short-term and long-term adverse effects?

Drug Therapy:

Re-visit multiple treatment targets & types of drug therapy
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Biological Therapies.
  • Small Molecule Targeted Therapies.
  • Hormone Targeted Therapies.
  • Complimentary Therapies.

For each:
  • Overview.
  • How does this treatment work?
  • What happens to the patient during treatment and what are the possible adverse effects?
Exercise 4 Cancer Treatments Quiz on treatments (pairs).

  • Domains of survivorship.
  • Ongoing health issues for survivors.

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