Course catalogue doctoral education - VT21

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Title Tumor Microenvironment
Course number 5232
Programme Tumörbiologi och onkologi (FoTO)
Language English
Credits 1.5
Date 2020-11-09 -- 2020-11-13
Responsible KI department Institutionen för onkologi-patologi
Specific entry requirements Basic course in tumor biology and oncology or corresponding knowledge
Purpose of the course The purpose of the course is to provide:
-A systematic overview on the cellular, structural and chemical composition of the tumor microenvironment (TME)
-A platform for scientific discussions on how differences in the tumor microenvironment can influence tumor progression and therapy response
-Practice in what to consider when selecting a relevant TME model system and how to analyze the tumor microenvironment ex vivo and in vivo
-A context for reflection on advances and challenges with existing and future TME-targeting therapies
Intended learning outcomes After completion of the course, the students should be able to:
- Describe the main cellular and acellular components of the TME
- Discuss principal mechanisms of TME communication
- Systematically identify and compare properties of different TMEs and their clinical impact
- Critically evaluate different methods and model systems for TME studies and motivate their use from a context-dependent perspective (level of complexity, ethics, clinical relevance, etc)
Contents of the course The course content is structured as follows:
-Components of the TME are introduced (cancer-associated fibroblasts, endothelial cells, pericytes, immune cells, ECM and associated factors etc). Processes like angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis are discussed together with conditions like hypoxia and acidosis.
-TME properties are related to malignant growth, invasion, metastasis, and response to therapy from a clinical perspective. The specific TME of selected tumor types will be further studied in depth according to the participants´ interest.
-Model systems and tools for TME studies are presented (organoids, digital image analysis etc.).
Teaching and learning activities The course consists of lectures, group work and discussions, literature search, and a hands-on demonstration of digital image analysis using clinical tissue samples. TME characteristics of different tumor types will be explored by problem-based learning (starting from a clinical case). The course is designed to stimulate interactive learning where all course participants are active, for example by summarizing the key topics of the day in groups.
Compulsory elements All parts of the course are mandatory and require full attendance. Absence must be compensated for by other activities (after discussion with the course organizer).
Examination The course assignments consist of:
(1) Short written summary of key topics of the day in groups, to be discussed and peer-reviewed (formative assessment)
(2) Oral group presentation (assessment of PBL assignment)
(3) Essay, 1 page (summative assessment)
Literature and other teaching material Pre-selected articles for discussions, PubMed-indexed articles of own choice for the group assignment/problem-based learning, QuPath software for those with own computer
Number of students 10 - 20
Selection of students Selection will be based on 1) the relevance of the course syllabus for the applicant's doctoral project (according to written motivation), 2) start date of doctoral studies (priority given to earlier start date)
More information The course is between 9 am and 4 pm. All activities will be on the Solna Campus (BioMedicum and BioClinicum).
Additional course leader Jordi Gonzalez Molina
Latest course evaluation Not available
Course responsible Monika Ehnman
Institutionen för onkologi-patologi
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