Cancer Genetics
Reference DHBIOM00000028
Taught in Majors List Master of Biomedical Sciences
Theory (A) 30.0
Exercises (B) 0.0
Training and projects (C) 25.0
Studytime (D) 210.0
Studypoints (E) 7
Credit contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Examination contract? This course can not be taken through this kind of contract
Credit contract mandatory if Exam contract? Separate credit contract mandatory
Retake possible in case of permanent evaluation? Yes
Teaching Language Dutch
Lecturer Franki Speleman
Department GE02
Key Words

Oncogenomics, chromosome abnormalities, mutations, epigenetic modifications, miRNA, tumor suppressor gene, oncogene, mouse models, molecular therapy

Position of the Course

This course focusses on various characteristics of genetic defects occurring in cancer, based on previous basic knowledge of medical genetics. This course aims to provide insight into the nature of these genetic defects and how they lead to cancer formation. The course illustrates how our increasing knowledge of cancer genetics contributes to the development of molecular targeted therapies.


  • Survey of the most important genetic and epigenetic defects occuring in tumor cells.
  • Diagnostic and prognostic signification of genetic defects in cancer.
  • The contribution of genetic research to insights into the molecular pathogenesis and the development of new treatments.
  • The identification of genes and signaling pathways involved in cancer.
  • Gene expression profiling in cancer.
  • Family cancer syndromes, research techniques, model systems, high throughput technology in cancer genetic research.

Starting Competences

Having successfully completed the courses Cytology and general histology, Human genetics, Molecular biology I, Molecular biology II and Human pathogenesis from the bachelor program biomedical sciences, or having acquired the relevant ending objectives by other means.

Final Competences

  • Understanding the (epi)genetic basis of cancer, the type of genetic defects and their consequences to the cancer phenotype.
  • Having insight as to how knowledge of the molecular pathogenesis can lead to the identification of targets for innovative, more efficient and less toxic molecular therapy.
  • Knowing the various types of genes involved in cancer and having insight into the importance of the discovery of these genes in unraveling the molecular pathogenesis of cancer.
  • Understanding the strategies for the study of genetic defects in cancer.
  • Being able to situate the most important discoveries obtained by the different research platforms.

Teaching and Learning Material

Powerpoint presentations, review articles (english, PDFs) No costs


  • The Biology of Cancer, Ed. Robert A. Weinberg, Garland Science, 2007

Course Content-Related Study Coaching

Teaching Methods

Classroom lectures

Evaluation Moments

Evaluation during examination period

Evaluation Methods

During examination period: oral closed-book exam, written preparation

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