FRM5560 – New Drugs and drug delivery in cancer therapy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course aims to give the participants an overview of new drugs and drug delivery systems that are approved or under clinical evaluation for treatment of cancer. The treatment of cancer is today primarily based on surgery, ionizing radiation and chemotherapy. Despite several decades of attempts to optimize these treatment regimens the mortality and morbidity is still high for many cancer indications. This together with better understanding of cancer development has paved way for alternative drugs and drug delivery technologies with potentially better specificity and efficacy. These drugs may be devided into biotherapeutics, small molecular targeted chemotherapeutics and delivery technologies to improve specificity and efficacy of drugs. The biotherapeutics include monoclonal antibodies, immunotoxins, peptides and mRNA (for cancer vaccines), DAN (for gene therapy), and oligonucleotides (for gene silencing). The new small molecular targeted chemotherapeutics inhibits in most cases signal pathways which are important for the cancer cells to grow in an uncontrolled maner. Small molecular photosensitizing agents as used in photodynamic therapy and photochemical internalization exert their specificity through the light-directed activation of the photosensitizers.

Learning outcome

The main goal is to give the students a broad overview of the most important groups of new drugs and drug delivery systems for treatment of cancer. Drug design and mechanisms for therapeutic effects will be emphasized. The main principles for cancer development as basis for understanding the mechanisms of action of the drugs will also be presented


The course is primarily open for students who have been admitted to the School of Pharmacy at the University of Oslo. If there is space available then others may also apply to take the course as long as their academic background is adequate.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

No obligatory prerequisites beyond the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway.


Lectures or study groups.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


A three hour written exam/oral exam depending on the number of students.

Examination support material

As of 1 August, 2016, the use of own calculators is no longer permitted. Casio FX-991EX calculators are handed out to all exam candidates at the beginning of the exam.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language