This course is replaced by BIOS9710 – Advanced Cancer Biology.

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The course will provide the student with a comprehensive insight into the molecular biology of cancer and awareness of the complexity in cancer - biology and –medicine. The students will acquire an overview and in depth understanding of certain aspects the underlying biology and clinical challenges of the four most common cancer cases: breast-, colorectal-, prostate-, and lung- cancer.  Several experts in the field from the the Institute of Cancer Research/Oslo University Hospital will contribute with lectures in the course.

Learning outcome

After completing the course the student should:

  • Have an in depth understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that lead to cancer.
  • Be able to describe the fundamental mechanistic principles behind cancer diagnosis and prevention
  • Know the basic principles behind personalized medicine and therapeutic cancer management
  • Have an overview of advanced methodologies used in cancer research
  • Know the positive and challenging sides of using model organisms in cancer research
  • Have an understanding of the importance of bioinformatic tools in cancer research
  • Be able to read and understand articles within the field of cancer research
  • Have improved their ability to obtain, process and present essential scientific literature through a short written essay and an oral presentation of a relevant article


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

The courses MBV4160 and MBV9160 have common admission. Applicants are ranked by the following criteria:
1. PhD candidates and master students at the MN faculty who have the course as part of the approved curriculum.
2. Other PhD candidates and visiting PhD candidates.
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


Recommended previous knowledge

Recommended prior knowledge MBV3020 – Molecular genetics and developmental biology (discontinued)

Overlapping courses


The first three weeks of the course will consist of lectures (approximately 30 hours). The last two weeks of the course will be used for individual essay preparation (to be chosen from a short list of assigned topics).


The exam will consist of three parts:
An oral presentation given by each student during the first three weeks of the course. The topic will be a relevant article within the field (that will be provided).
Preparation of a written essay (to be chosen from a short list of assigned topics).
A final 3 hour written exam in the end of the course. Both the oral presentation and the written essay must be completed and awarded a passing grade before the date of the written exam.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. 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.

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: MBV4160 – Advanced Cancer Biology (continued)BIOS5710 – Advanced Cancer BiologyBIOS9710 – Advanced Cancer Biology.

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 spring

The course will be replaced by BIOS9710 from spring 2020.


Every spring

Teaching language