Introduction to Cancer Biology and Personalised Cancer Treatments

Thursday 19th & Friday 20th October 2017

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A two day intermediate-level course providing research nurses and trials staff with the knowledge and confidence to discuss many new cancer treatments with their patients and colleagues

Course Facilitator

Dr Elaine Vickers, Science Communicated Ltd’s Founder and Principal Trainer, has a Degree in Medical Science, a PhD in Molecular Biology and over ten years experience in communicating science to a wide range of audiences. She has worked as a science communicator for three of the UK’s leading medical research charities, including four years in the Science Information team at Cancer Research UK. When training, Elaine’s energetic and approachable style ensures that delegates not only gain new knowledge and insight, but also have a hunger to learn more.

Course overview

During the course, Elaine will explain many of the concepts behind the personalisation of cancer care such as: the range of different mutations in cancer cells, the difference between passenger and driver mutations, the appearance of drug resistance and the potential advantages of immunotherapy for cancers without targetable mutations.

The courses focuses on solid tumours. However, the emphasis on de-mystifying and explaining the science behind cancer treatments will benefit anyone working with cancer patients or cancer clinical trials. Throughout the two days, delegates are given the opportunity to digest and practise their new knowledge through a variety of practical exercises, question sheets and quizzes

Entry level

  • No scientific or medical background is required.
  • Pre-course reading will be sent out to familiarise participants with some of the scientific concepts covered during the day

  • Intended Audience

  • Research nurses
  • Clinical nurse specialists
  • Chemotherapy/out-patient cancer nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Clinical trials coordinators and other trials staff

  • Learning objectives

    Participants in this study day will:

  • Gain an understanding of cancer at a cellular and genetic level Appreciate how this knowledge is expanding and its potential to benefit people with cancer
  • Learn how many types of targeted cancer treatments work
  • Become familiar with scientific jargon surrounding targeted cancer treatments and clinical trials
  • Understand treatment resistance and why many drugs fail to benefit people with cancer
  • Appreciate the potential benefits of a personalised approach to cancer treatment, but also its implications and drawbacks

  • Topics covered

  • Introduction to cancer cell biology and genetics
  • The defining characteristics of cancer cells
  • Explanations of monoclonal antibodies and kinase inhibitors
  • Concepts relating to drug resistance e.g. the cancer microenvironment, genomic instability, intra-tumoural heterogeneity
  • A step-by-step guide to cell communication and the drugs that target it
  • Novel targets and treatments e.g. hedgehog inhibitors and immunotherapy
  • The growing use of umbrella/basket trials to improve cancer treatment and the importance of cancer samples and biomarkers

  • Fees

    £200 (NHS staff)
    £350 (Non-NHS staff)