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BIO404: Cancer Biology

Unit 8: Cancer Therapy: Past, Present, and Future   Curing cancer and helping those who have it have been medical concerns for thousands of years.  However, cancer remains difficult to cure; it is hard to eradicate completely; it proliferates rapidly and can cause resurgences after it appears to be gone; its cells develop resistances to drugs; and many of the treatments for it are toxic to healthy cells as well.  This unit will describe some of the means through which cancer has been treated in the past (some of which will seem surprisingly familiar) and will also address current techniques and their effectiveness.  Finally, the unit will introduce you to some plans for the future of cancer treatments based on areas of current research in cancer biology and oncology.  

Unit 8 Time Advisory
Time Advisory: This unit will take approximately 13.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 8.1: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 8.2: 8 hours

         ☐    Subunit 8.2.1: 1.25 hours

         ☐    Subunit 8.2.2: 1.25 hours

         ☐    Subunit 8.2.3: 1.25 hours

         ☐    Subunit 8.2.4: 1.25 hours

         ☐    Subunit 8.2.5: 1.25 hours

         ☐    Subunit 8.2.6: 1.25 hours

         ☐    Subunit 8.2.7: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 8.3: 4 hours

Unit8 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Describe how treatment of cancer has evolved throughout history. - Explain the mechanism by which common cancer treatments destroy cancer cells. - List ways that cancer treatment is changing and what is expected for future options.

8.1 Past Treatments   - Reading: American Cancer Society’s “The History of Cancer” Link: American Cancer Society’s “The History of Cancer” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  We covered the first part of this reading, presented by the American Cancer Society, in Unit 1.  We will now read about how cancer treatments have evolved, and conclude with the present and the future.  This is a great overall of how our approach to cancer has changed through the years—from no treatment to targeted specific therapies for individual patients.  Click Next Topic above the gray bar to continue to the next page.  When you reach the references, you have finished this module.
 
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8.2 Current Treatments   8.2.1 Surgery   - Web Media: Emory University’s CancerQuest: “Surgery for Cancer” Link:  Emory University’s CancerQuest: “Surgery for Cancer” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Read this page about surgery for cancer and view the two animations.  Once you reach the bottom of the page, view the three short videos covering the breast and lymph node biopsy and pathology.
 
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8.2.2 Hormone Therapy   - Web Media: Emory University’s CancerQuest: “Introduction to Hormonal Cancer Treatment” Link: Emory University’s CancerQuest: “Introduction to Hormonal Cancer Treatment” (HTML)
 
Instructions: View the six pages in this module by clicking next.  Be sure to view the animations about different mechanisms of drug action.
 
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8.2.3 Radiation   - Web Media: Emory University’s CancerQuest: “Introduction to Radiation Therapy” Link:  Emory University’s CancerQuest: “Introduction to Radiation Therapy” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions:  View the eleven pages in this module.  Be sure to watch the documentary about radiation therapy on the first page.  Click on the five different topics at the bottom of the documentary as well as the different patient interviews to the right.  On some of the pages, expert video commentary is given. 
 
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8.2.4 Chemotherapy   - Web Media: Emory University’s CancerQuest: “Introduction to Chemotherapy” Link:  Emory University’s CancerQuest: “Introduction to Chemotherapy” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: View the nine pages in this module.  This module thoroughly covers many of the chemotherapeutic agents. 
 
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8.2.5 Immunotherapy   - Web Media: Emory University’s CancerQuest: “Introduction to Antibodies” Link: Emory University’s CancerQuest: “Introduction to Antibodies” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This is a fairly short module with only three pages.  View all three of these, which focus on antibody treatments.  Immunology is the study of antigen-antibody interactions and immunotherapy is treatment, which uses antibodies.
 
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8.2.6 Targeted Therapy   - Reading: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Inside Cancer: “Diagnosis and Treatment” Link: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Inside Cancer: “Diagnosis and Treatment” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory offers this four module series called Inside Cancer.  We will focus on the module called “Diagnosis and Treatment” to look at how certain types of cancer are treated using targeted therapy.  Click on Diagnosis and Treatment.  There are four sections in this module.  Start with Pathology and work your way through Pharmacogenetics, Targeted Activators, and Blocking Receptors.  For each section, you will need to click the arrow to move to the next step in the animation.
 
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8.2.7 Assessment   - Reading: Emory University’s CancerQuest’s “Test Your Knowledge on Treatments” Link:  Emory University’s CancerQuest’s “Test Your Knowledge on Treatments” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Click on the question mark on the left column to test your knowledge of cancer treatments in a ten question quiz.
 
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8.3.1 Stem Cells: Problems and Solutions   - Web Media: University of Texas: MD Anderson Cancer Center’s “Stem Cells, Explained” Link:  University of Texas: MD Anderson Cancer Center’s “Stem Cells, Explained” (mp3)
 
Instructions:  Listen to this entire Podcast of Dr. Frank Marini explaining about stem cells and their use in treatments including cancer.  This Podcast lasts about 1 hour.  Please note that you may also download the transcript on this webpage.
 
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8.3.2 Novel Targets   - Reading: Science Daily’s version of the American Association for Cancer Research’s “Cancer Targets on the Horizon: Emerging Therapies and Novel Targets” Link:  Science Daily’s version of the American Association for Cancer Research’s “Cancer Targets on the Horizon: Emerging Therapies and Novel Targets” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this article about novel cancer targets.  
    
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8.3.3 Modified Adenoviruses   - Reading: National Institutes of Health’s Daniel T. Rein et al’s “Current Developments in Adenovirus-based Cancer Gene Therapy” Link: National Institutes of Health’s Daniel T. Rein et al’s “Current Developments in Adenovirus-based Cancer Gene Therapy” (HTML or PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this review article to learn more about how adenoviruses are being used in targeted cancer treatment.  You can access the PDF version from the top right corner of the page.
 
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8.3.4 Gleevec   - Web Media: NPR’s Talk of the Nation: “Beyond the ‘War’, The Future of Cancer Treatment” Link: NPR’s Talk of the Nation: “Beyond the ‘War’, The Future of Cancer Treatment” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions:  Listen to this NPR radio interview (17:02 minutes) with Dr. Mukherjee of Columbia University, who discusses the future of cancer treatment including stem cells and Gleevec.
 
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8.3.5 Tailored Treatments   - Reading: Science Daily’s version of University of California, San Diego’s “Future of Personalized Cancer Treatment: New System Delivers RNA into Cells” Link: Science Daily’s version of University of California, San Diego’s “Future of Personalized Cancer Treatment: New System Delivers RNA into Cells” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Read this article about a new potential tailored cancer treatment.
 
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