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Online course

Inside Cancer: How Genes Influence Cancer Development

Understand how genetics influence the development and spread of cancer, with this free, introductory online course.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Inside Cancer: How Genes Influence Cancer Development

Why join the course?

What is the one thing that all cancers have in common? They begin as mutant or rebel cells! In this course we will explore how changes in cancer genetics and epigenetics enables these cells to grow uncontrollably, by exploiting our blood vessels and immune system along with other systemic changes.

Finally, we will discuss how our understanding of genetics has helped both refine conventional treatments like radiation and chemotherapy, and inform the design of new treatments that can target specific proteins within cancer cells.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 40 secondsHello and welcome. I'm Dr Momna Hejmadi and I'm the lead educator on this six week course, Inside Cancer. This course is being delivered by myself and fellow researchers here at the University of Bath, and with our consultant oncologists from the Royal United Hospital at Bath. And together, we will explore how some of the basic genetics can influence cancer development and spread. Cancer is a disease that affects about one third of the human population, irrespective of nationality, irrespective of ethnic origins, and the types of cancers that you get also vary considerably. But what all cancers have in common is that they start off as rebel cells, mutant cells, which defy the normal regulations that govern cell behaviour.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 secondsAnd it is this survival of the nastiest that results in the development of cancer as we know it. This course is a beginners guide. Together, we will explore some of the fundamental differences that dictate behaviour in normal cells, as well as in cancer cells. We will start off first by exploring the concept of DNA mutations and how these changes in the cell's genome, our DNA, affect how the cell behaves. We will also look at how the cancers trick the human body, both in terms of, let's say, blood vessels, how they trick tumours to get bigger by stimulating blood vessels growth, or they can stimulate the immune system to bypass them and ultimately, it results in the spread of cancers.

Skip to 2 minutes and 14 secondsWhat understanding the genetics of cancer enables us researchers to do is rationalise our treatment. So whether it's conventional treatments, like radiation or chemotherapy, we can refine these, or we can use more sophisticated targeted approaches, targeting specific proteins inside the cell. But there are problems and challenges for both these types of treatments. And together, we will explore in this course what are the key issues that drive cancer research here at Bath. Ultimately, this course is a beginner's guide to show you how genetics can influence cell behaviour to make them cancerous.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is cancer and why do we get it?
  • How rogue cells behave: oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes and apoptosis in cancer development
  • Genetic pathways to cancer: angiogenesis, metastasis, cancer stem cells and immune cells in cancer development
  • Diagnostics and treatments: success and challenges of traditional (radiotherapy /chemotherapy) and targeted (immunotherapy) approaches

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Summarise the risk factors in cancer development
  • Explore the genetics and epigenetics of cancer, particularly the influence of genes involved in oncogenesis, apoptosis, angiogenesis and metastasis
  • Discuss the role of cancer stem cells and immune cells in cancer development
  • Explain the rationale underlying cancer therapies and the challenges in cancer treatment

Who is the course for?

The course is designed as a beginner’s guide to cancer genetics and would appeal to school students, teachers, undergraduates, pharmacists, nurses, medical practitioners, or indeed anyone interested in understanding the molecular basis of cancer.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Momna Hejmadi

A member of University of Bath’s cancer research group, Dr Momna Hejmadi has also received awards for excellence in teaching and has carried out work in open education resources.

Who developed the course?

The University of Bath is one of the UK’s leading universities both in terms of research and our reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and graduate prospects.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $74 you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

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  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

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  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV
  • Includes free shipping

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.

Upgrade


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