Cell and Tumour Biology

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 3MR104

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Drug Management A1F, Medical Science A1F, Pharmaceutical Sciences A1F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Master Programmes Board of the Faculty of Medicine, 26 August 2020
Responsible department
Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology

General provisions

The course is offered as part of the Master's programs in the Faculty of Medicine.

Entry requirements

Admitted to the Master's Programme in Medical Research, or admitted to the Master's Programme in Biomedicine, or admitted to the Master's Programme in Drug Management, or within the Pharmacy Programme, it is required that the student has participated in all courses during terms 1-7 of the programme and passed all courses on terms 1-5, or undergraduate education of 180 credits within life sciences (e.g. biomedicine, biotechnology, medicine, veterinary medicine or equivalent) including at least 10 credits each of cell biology, biochemistry and genetics. Proficiency in English equivalent to the general entry requirements for first-cycle (Bachelor's level) studies.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Describe control mechanisms that a normal cell needs to circumvent to become a tumour cell.
  • Describe how oncogenes and tumour suppressors can promote or limit tumour development.
  • Describe how tumour cell interaction with the surrounding microenvironment (for example blood vessels, immune cells, fibroblasts) can affect tumour development.
  • Explain processes that regulate invasion and metastasis of tumour cells.
  • Understand how viruses and chronic inflammation can promote cancer.
  • Discuss scientific questions and orally present short summaries of content of selected course literature.


The goal of the course is to highlight how cell communication is altered during the generation of malignant tumours. Emphasis is given on cell biological mechanisms that control genetic stability, gene expression, proliferation and survival, invasiveness and interactions between tumour cells and the microenvironment. Furthermore, specific examples of different tumour types are discussed.

The course utilises current research problems to illustrate different cell biology-related basic phenomena and its applications within tumour biology. Topics that are in focus are among others: transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation; signal transduction; DNA-damage; viral infections and cancer stem cells. The course also gives insight into current research activity and methodology within the field of tumour biology.


Teaching will be performed with lectures, complemented with training of scientific communication during mandatory seminars. The students will read selected texts from the course literature to present short summaries for other class members. The activity will give training in collecting and presenting scientific texts in discussion besides handling course content. Presence at the course call is mandatory.

All teaching is performed in English.


Written examination is arranged at the end of the course. For a Pass grade in the course, besides a passed written examination (6 hp), passed compulsory parts (1.5 hp) are required. Possibilities to complement non-passed mandatory elements is given at the earliest during the next following course and only in case of course space.

Students who have failed the first examination are allowed five re-examinations.

If there exist special reasons the examiner can give allowance for alternative sets of assessment to examine an individual student. Specific conditions may e.g. be special pedagogic support described by the university's coordinator for special support.