The spring semester 2021 will take place online until further notice. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers.

376-1581-00L  Cancer: Fundamentals, Origin and Therapy

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersH. Nägeli
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman


AbstractGeneral aspects and etiology of cancer. Epidemiology of cancer risks. Impact of food, physical activity and infectious diseases. Genetic predispositions. Molecular basis of cancer development. Concept of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Cancer stem cells. Interactions between chemicals and DNA. Test systems to recognize mutagenic chemicals. Conventional and new therapeutic strategies.
ObjectiveStudents are able to describe selected chemicals, biological and molecular processes that occur in cells spontaneously or after physical or chemical exposure and resulting in a tumor. They are able to list important cancer-inducing agents and explain the respective mechanism of action. They have knowledge of significant risk factors for cancer diseases. They are confronted with the basics of toxicology and they can explain the principle of the most common therapeutic strategies.
ContentThe lecture deals with problems of tumor epidemiology (causes, mortality, incidence). Cancer is delineated as a multi-step process. Classes of chemical compounds that induce cancer are discussed as well as the reactive metabolites that may be built from. Covalent binding to DNA is discussed and different types of mutations resulting therof. A selection of proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes is presented. Their function will be discussed as well as the changes which are found in these genes in tumor cells, starting from single nucleotide exchanges up to large deletions.
The reason for genetic predisposition to cancer will be discussed as well as cancer relevant aspects of cell cycle regulation. Phenomenons like angiogenesis and metastasis are presented as well as the mechanisms that protect the genome from mutagenic damage. Further subjects address old and new strategies of cancer treatment. Personalised cancer treatment.
Lecture notesHandouts with reproductions of all presented transparencies will be distributed.
Literature- Weinberg, Robert: The biology of Cancer. 2014. 876 S.; ISBN 978-0-8153-4220-5, Garland Science, New York, USA

additional informations are given during the lecture
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture requires an active participation of the students. All students will participate in individual or group work focussing on specific subject of the lecture. Students will have ample time for preparation during lecture time.