Lectures: Molecular biology and genetics of cancer

12 hours in English, for M1 and PhD students (for Master de Cancérologie and Ecole Doctorale de Cancérologie)

Amphitheatre 123, 1st floor, D'Alembert building, École Normale Supérieure, Cachan

By Adam Telerman, LBPA, UMR8113, ENS Cachan

These lectures focused on the biology and the molecular genetics of cancer aim at transmitting to the students the bases of our knowledge in this field. They describe the progress that was achieved during the last thirty years. The different chapters will make students familiar with those protagonists who plaid a critical role in increasing our knowledge of cancer. These lectures will guide students along the investigators’ fascinating experiments as well as the articles that they published. Undoubtedly, this research in molecular oncology gathered the most powerful minds and provided answers to fundamental physiological problems such as signal transduction from the membrane to the nucleus, the cell cycle and cell death. My purpose is that at the end of these lectures, students who wish to pursue in research will have learned the main steps in molecular oncology and will be ready to contribute to the field.  

Subdivision of the lectures:

1. Malignant transformation I

    * Histology of cancer, cancer subtypes, oncogenes, growth factors and their receptors and the major signal transduction pathways (Ras, PI3K, Raf, Ral)
2. Malignant transformation II

    * Deregulation of the cell cycle and apoptosis, Tumor suppressor genes (pRb, p53, PTEN)

3. Malignant transformation III

    * Genomic instability (Telomeres, DNA repair mechanisms)
    * Proliferation, invasion, colonization and metastasis (microenvironment, neoangionesis, Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition, Metastatic tropism)

4. Tumor reversion

      The initial experiments, the theoretical models, the biological models, the molecular pathways

5. Epigenetic determinants of cancer

      Introduction to epigenetics, nuclear transplantation and the reprogramming of the genome, relevance in  tumor progression

6. Treatment of cancer

      New therapeutic advances and summary with review of the 10 most relevant articles in molecular oncology

Reference books:

The Biology of Cancer, Robert A. Weinberg, Ed. Garland Science, 2007 (the best book on cancer written by this pioneer who left his mark on every step of research in this field)  

The Genetic Basis of Human Cancer, Bert Vogelstein & Kenneth W. Kinzler, Ed. Mc Graw Hill, 2002 (a very good guide on clinical genetics of cancer, with every chapter very well introduced and referenced)

Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, Vincent T. DeVita, Jr., Samuel Hellman & Steven A. Rosenberg, Ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005 (one of the main references in the field of cancer, very complete and well referenced)  

The Molecular Basis of Blood Diseases, Stamatoyannopoulos, Majerus, Perlmutter & Varmus, Ed. Saunders, 2002 (one of the first books that described very precisely the molecular basis of blood diseases)  

Epigenetics, C. David Allis, Thomas Jenuwein, Danny Reinberg, Ed. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2007 (an excellent book that approaches epigenetics from the initial experiments performed on Drosophila till human pathologies, including cancer)