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University of Glasgow

Cancer in the 21st Century: The Genomic Revolution

University of Glasgow via FutureLearn


Develop your understanding of cancer causation and treatment

Cancer Research UK estimates that 1 in 2 people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. So understanding cancer, and the development of new treatments, is of intrinsic interest to us all.

On this six-week course from the University of Glasgow, you’ll gain fascinating insights into the developments that are transforming the way we understand and treat cancer.

Explore current methods for detecting and treating cancer

In order to move forward and develop new cancer detection and treatment methods, we need to understand where we’ve come from and where we are now.

You’ll start this course by learning how cancer develops in cells and the multistep process of cancer before assessing the different subtypes of cancer and how they are currently diagnosed.

Learn how genomic science is used to understand cancer

The genome holds a lot of information, some of which can indicate the possibility of cancer developing in a person.

This course will take you through how genetics can influence cancer, looking at the family pedigree and inherited predispositions to cancer. You’ll also look at cancer causation, from DNA damage and repair to potential environmental factors.

The cancer therapies of tomorrow are based on the discoveries of today with cutting-edge science paving the way for more effective treatments.

You’ll delve into the future of cancer therapies and recent developments in this field of medicine. From targeted therapies to personalised cancer medicine, you’ll explore current research efforts as well as the economics surrounding these new treatments.

This course is designed for anyone interested in genomic medicine and the clinical impact of differences in our DNA. This includes those already working in healthcare professions, or anyone considering studying medicine or nursing who is interested in specialising in oncology or exploring different career paths within healthcare.

This course is also suitable for patients, family, and carer groups who wish to further their understanding of cancer, detection and treatment methods.


  • Where Have We Come From? The 'Normal' Cell And Beyond
    • Starting Off!
    • The Normal Cell - How and Why Things Go Wrong
    • Cancer Subtypes
    • Evaluating Sources On The Internet: Can You Believe What You Read About Cancer?
    • Week 1 Summary
  • Where Are We Now?
    • Introduction To Week 2
    • Tumour Suppressor Genes And Oncogenes
    • The Hallmarks Of Cancer
    • Cancer Diagnosis and Screening
    • Inherited Predisposition To Cancer and Genetic Counselling
    • Week 2 Summary
  • Cancer Treatment And Management: From Traditional To Precision Medicine
    • Introduction To Week 3
    • Current Cancer Treatments
    • The Beginnings of Precision Medicine: Breast Cancer, Leukaemia and Lung Cancer
    • Week 3 summary
  • Where are We Going? The Genomic Revolution
    • Introduction To Week 4
    • The Bigger Picture: Precision Cancer Medicine And The Tools To Explore It
    • New Horizons In Cancer Therapy
    • Can We Afford It?
    • Week 4 Summary

Taught by

Leah Marks


4.8 rating, based on 5 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 27 ratings

Start your review of Cancer in the 21st Century: The Genomic Revolution

  • Jason Galloway

    Jason Galloway completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    This was an amazing course! I came into it knowing very little about cancer and this course did a great job of teaching me the most up-to-date information about it. The material was fairly difficult, but it was presented in a way that made it accessible.
  • Renny Jelsma

    Renny Jelsma completed this course.

  • Nicole S.

    Nicole S. completed this course.

  • Margarida Patricio

    Margarida Patricio completed this course.

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    Riana Muhammad

    Riana Muhammad completed this course.

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