BIOS5710 – Advanced Cancer Biology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course aims to provide students with a comprehensive insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer development and into cancer treatment. Among the topics covered are tumor viruses, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, multistep tumorigenesis, cancer stem cells, tumor heterogeneity, cancer invasion, metastasis, precision medicine and drug development. The course will give an introduction to and discuss the major clinical challenges in the treatment of the four most common cancer types: breast, colorectal, prostate, and lung cancer, as well as haematological cancers. The lectures will be given by lab scientists and practicing clinicians at the Institute for Cancer Research/Oslo University Hospital.

Learning outcome

After completing the course the student should:

  • Understand central aspects of the molecular mechanisms that are involved in cancer pathogenesis.
  • Be able to describe the fundamental principles of cancer diagnosis and prevention
  • Know the basic principles of personalized medicine and therapeutic cancer management
  • Have knowledge of advanced methodologies used in cancer research
  • Be aware of the advantages and limitations  of using model organisms in cancer research
  • Be able to present a given topic within the cancer research field through a short written essay.

Admission to the course

Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's degree programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.

The courses BIOS5710 and BIOS9710 have common admission. Applicants are ranked by the following criteria:

1. Master students and PhD students at the MN faculty who have the course as part of the approved curriculum.

2. Other PhD students and visiting PhD students.

3. Students with admission to single courses on Master’s level and exchange students.

4. Applicants are ranked by credits in each group; all applicants within 1st rank before applicants in 2nd etc.

If admission is limited to a fixed number of participants, admission will be decided by drawing lots for students who are ranked equally.

A Bachelor's degree in molecular biology/cell biology/biochemistry and/or admission to a Master program in molecular biology/cell biology/biochemistry/physiology or equivalent background.

BIOS3700 – Cell Biology 2 and MBV3020 – Molecular genetics and developmental biology (discontinued) or corresponding knowledge.

Overlapping courses


  • The lectures will be delivered over a period of nine weeks.
  • The course involves a mandatory essay assignment. For this essay, the students can choose between four different topics, which will be presented by the course organizers on the first course day. 
  • The course also involves group work. The group work provides a valuable opportunity for the students to work on important topics in the syllabus together with their fellow students, and all students are strongly encouraged to actively participate in the group work.


The exam will consist of two parts:

  • Preparation of a written essay (to be chosen from a short list of assigned topics).

  • Final written exam which counts 100 % towards the final grade.  

The written essay must be completed and approved before the date of the written exam.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: BIOS9710 – Advanced Cancer Biology MBV4160 – Advanced Cancer Biology (continued) MBV9160 – Advanced Cancer Biology (continued)

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English. You may submit your response in English or Norwegian.

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.

Resit an examination

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

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) May 21, 2022 8:18:22 AM

Facts about this course

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