Data on the course
TMED-103 Cancer from Biology to Research, 5 cr  
Code TMED-103  Validity 01.01.2017 -
Name Cancer from Biology to Research  Abbreviation Cancer from Bio 
Scope 5 cr  
TypeAdvanced studies
  GradingGeneral scale 
    Can be taken more than onceno
Unit Master's Programme in Translational Medicine 

Pirjo Laakkonen 

Target group 

Students of the Master’s Programme in Translational Medicine; students of other Master’s programmes and doctoral programmes. Attendance limited to 30 students.


Period III, second study year. The course is arranged annually.

Learning outcomes 

The student will

-Acquire basic knowledge on the principles of neoplastic growth, cancer progression and dissemination
- Acquire basic understanding on the interplay between different cell types during neoplastic growth
-Acquire knowledge on major research methodologies and disease models in cancer biology

Completion methods 

This is a lecture course; the attendance requirement is 75% over the entire course.


TMED-909 Human Anatomy and Physiology is required from TRANSMED students
TMED-105 Pathologic Basis of Disease is recommended for TRANSMED students


Lectures provide an overview of the following aspects in cancer biology:

  • What cancer is  
  • Signal transduction in cancer cells  
  • Oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes  
  • The tumour microenvironment  
  • Cancer metastasis  
  • Angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis  
  • Cancer stem cells  
  • Transcriptional regulation in cancer  
  • Cancer and the immune system  
  • Tumour viruses  
  • Cancer metabolism  
  • Data analysis in cancers  
  • Targeted therapies and pharmacogenomics  

Basic methods in cancer research

Study materials and literature 

Research articles:

Hanahan and Weinberg: The Hallmarks of Cancer, Cell, pp. 57–70, 2000
Hanahan and Weinberg: Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation. Cell. 144(5):646-74, 2011
Textbook: Weinberg, RA: The Biology of Cancer, 2014

Activities and teaching methods in support of learning 

Active discussion during interactive lectures

Assessment practices and criteria 

Grading scale 1–5 (passing grades). Completion requires 75% attendance and a passing grade on the exam. The grading is based on the exam.

Other information 

Responsible teachers are doc. Pirjo Laakkonen and prof. Päivi Ojala.

Relations to other study units 

The course replaces 30387 Cancer Biology, 3.5 cr

Responsible person 

Docent Pirjo Laakkonen,, and Prof. Päivi Ojala.


Current and future instruction
No instruction in WebOodi

Future examinations
No examinations in WebOodi