Teaching plan for the course unit



Close imatge de maquetació




General information


Course unit name: Translational Medical Research in Oncology

Course unit code: 365427

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Josep Maria Llovet Bayer

Department: Department of Medicine

Credits: 3

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 75


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture

Face-to-face and online




-  Seminar

Face-to-face and online



Independent learning






A level of English equivalent to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is required.

Further recommendations

— Capacity to contribute to scientific debates, discuss results and analyse bibliographic studies.

— Ability to understand:
• the structure and function of genes;
• the basic molecular principles and associated mechanisms of gene expression, and the variability and evolution of genes in specific populations;
• the role of genes in human diseases and the classification of genetic abnormalities;
• the main methods for diagnosing common genetic disorders.

— Understanding of and ability to describe the structure, function and mechanisms of action of the principal signaling pathways and drivers involved in carcinogenesis.

— Capacity to provide reasoned explanations of the concept and general characteristics of a disease and the mechanisms through which diseases develop.


365376 - Biologia Cel·lular (Recommended)

365377 - Biologia Cel·lular de la Patologia (Recommended)

365381 - Bases Genètiques de les Malalties (Recommended)

365575 - Biologia Cel·lular (Recommended)

365576 - Biologia Cel·lular de la Patologia (Recommended)

365580 - Bases Genètiques de les Malalties (Recommended)



Competences to be gained during study



CB5. Learning skills that are necessary to undertake further study with a high degree of autonomy.


CG2. Capacity for learning and responsibility (capacity for analysis and synthesis, to adopt global perspectives and to apply knowledge in practice, and capacity to take decisions and adapt to new situations).


CE11. Ability to explain the structure and function of genes and heredity, the basic molecular principles and associated mechanisms of gene expression, and the variability and evolution of genes in specific populations, ability to identify the role of genes in human disease and to classify genetic anomalies, understanding of the principal methods for diagnosing common genetic disorders, and capacity to apply basic techniques for genetic laboratory work.

Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

— Assimilate the basic concepts in translational medical research, such as personalised medicine, oncogenic addiction, gene signatures, genetic mutations, epigenetic aberrations and oncogenesis.
— Acquire knowledge of complex genomic technologies, such as microarray profiling, genome sequencing and methylation profiling.
— Understand the methodological basis of genomic analysis and the role of bioinformatics in data mining.
— Develop the skills to find and interpret genomic information in public databases.
— Acquire knowledge of complex proteomic-based technologies.
— Study models of translational research in oncology and their impact on handling patients (“from bench to bedside”).
— Acquire skills for the understanding of the rationale behind clinical trials of molecular therapies in oncology.
— Learn how to analyse bibliographical studies.
— Develop skills in communication of scientific knowledge.
— Identify the requirements and qualities needed to develop careers in science.
— Gain knowledge of the most important pre-clinical and clinical findings that have occurred in oncology and other pathologies.
— Understand the design of clinical trials based on biomarkers: enrichment trials.
— Understand cancer treatments based on scientific evidence.



Teaching blocks


1. Basic principles

— Molecular pathology in oncology
— Role of epigenetics in human diseases
— Personalised medicine in oncology
— Immunology and cancer
— Gene therapy and virotherapy
— Oncogenic signaling pathways
— Bioinformatics, bases of genomic studies
— Basic principles of experimental models

2. High-throughput technology

— Principles of sequencing technologies and achievements
— Identification of novel drivers in oncology
— Microarrays
— SNP array and CNVs
— Exome sequencing
— Single cell genomics
— Proteomics

3. Genomics in cancer

— Molecular classification of hepatocellular carcinoma
— Molecular therapies and immunotherapy in melanoma
— Molecular classification of breast cancer
— Targets for therapies in hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer
— Colorectal cancer: genetics and genomics
— microRNAs in human diseases and digestive cancer

4. Trial design and innovation

— Design of clinical trials in the genomic era
— Statistical principles for clinical trials
— Trial design and innovation (from bench to spin off)

5. Seminars

— Cancer
— Drugs and mechanisms of resistance
— Trial design and innovation



Teaching methods and general organization


Lectures: Lectures will be in English; and students will be encouraged to actively contribute and participate in them. The presentations shown in each class (either through video-conference or face-to-face) will be uploaded to the UB Virtual campus. Thus, students will have the opportunity to prepare the topics before each class. All documents provided during the lectures will help the students to understand and integrate the presented concepts.

Practical Sessions: There will be online and face-to face seminars to discuss scientific articles and translational medicine concepts. Students will analyze and discuss scientific articles under the supervision of the professors. The articles will be uploaded to the UB Virtual campus in advance so students can prepare them before the sessions. Seminars will be interactive. Students will have to discuss the ideas and results presented in the selected articles.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Evaluation criteria: 50% of the final score will depend on the attendance and active participation. The remaining 50% will be obtained through a written exam. The written exam will be based on a multiple option test.

To pass the subject, students will have to fulfill three requisites:

  1. Attendance-score ≥ 20/50
  2. exam-score ≥20/50
  3. and overall score (attendance + exam) ≥ 50/100.

Reevaluation: In case of failing the ordinary evaluation (overall-score £ 50/100), students that have 1/3 of the exam questions correctly answered will have the change to be re-evaluated. For that, they will need to present a critical appraise of 3 scientific articles in front of an evaluation committee.



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB



 Handbook of Translational Medicine. ISBN 978-84-475-4030-3
Author: Josep M Llovet.
 Translational Medicine: The Future of Therapy? ISBN 978-98-143-1699-6
Authors: James Mittra and Christopher-Paul Milne
 Genomic and Personalized Medicine. ISBN 978-01-238-2227-7
Authors: Geoffrey S. Ginsburg and Huntington F Willard PhD
 Translational Medicine and Drug Discovery. ISBN 978-05-218-8645-1
Authors: Bruce H. Littman MD and Rajesh Krishna PhD FCP




 Albani S, Prakken B. The advancement of translational medicine-from regional challenges to global solutions. Nat Med. 2009;15:1006-9.
 Berger B, Peng J, Singh M. Computational solutions for omics data. Nat Rev Genet. 2013;14:333-46
 Garraway LA, Lander ES. Lessons from the cancer genome. Cell. 2013;153:17-37
 Hanahan D, Weinberg RA. Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation. Cell. 2011;144:646-74.
 Heyn H, Esteller M. DNA methylation profiling in the clinic: applications and challenges. Nat Rev Genet. 2012;13:679-92
 McGranahan N, Swanton C. Biological and therapeutic impact of intratumor heterogeneity in cancer evolution. Cancer Cell. 2015;27:15-26.
 Pardoll DM. The blockade of immune checkpoints in cancer immunotherapy. Nat Rev Cancer. 2012;12:252-64
 Rezza A, Sennett R, Rendl M. et al. Adult stem cell niches: cellular and molecular components. Curr Top Dev Biol. 2014;107:333-72.
 Schulze K, Imbeaud S, Letouzé E, Alexandrov LB, Calderaro J, Rebouissou S, et al. Exome sequencing of hepatocellular carcinomas identifies new mutational signatures and potential therapeutic targets. Nat Genet. 2015;47:505-11
 Sia D, Hoshida Y, Villanueva A, Roayaie S, Ferrer J, Tabak B, et al. Integrative molecular analysis of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma reveals 2 classes that have different outcomes. Gastroenterology. 2013;144:829-40.
 Vogelstein B, Papadopoulos N, Velculescu VE, Zhou S, Diaz LA Jr, Kinzler KW. Cancer genome landscapes. Science. 2013;339:1546-58.
 Wan L, Pantel K, Kang Y. Tumor metastasis: moving new biological insights into the clinic. Nat Med. 2013;19:1450-64.
 Zucman-Rossi J, Villanueva A, Nault JC, Llovet JM. Genetic Landscape and Biomarkers of Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Gastroenterology. 2015;149:1226-1239.