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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MEDM5231M Cancer Drug Development

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Milène Volpato

Taught: 1 Sep to 31 Jan (adv yr) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

As the entry requirements of the student’s parent programme

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module is focussed on the challenges and latest developments in anti-cancer drug development from a pharmacological point of view. The aim is to provide a good understanding of the processes and difficulties in successfully translating anti-cancer research into clinical practice to improve patient outcomes.


1. The processes behind drug development for cancer therapies
2. The challenges in developing successful therapies against cancer
3. Cancer drug pharmacology
4. Clinical trial design and interpretation, as well as a good understanding of cancer prevention strategies.

Learning outcomes
1. demonstrate advanced knowledge in cancer drug preclinical development
2. critically appraise clinical trial data
3. formulate study designs to develop new drug against new anti-cancer targets
4. identify key findings which led to the clinical use of anti-cancer drugs analyse, summarise and present cancer drug development research
5. analyse, summarise and present cancer drug development research


Review of current cancer therapies and problems of resistance to drugs
Preclinical cancer drug development
Cancer drug pharmacology and toxicology
Clinical trial evaluation of anti-cancer drugs
The challenges of cancer prevention

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment23.006.00
Private study hours120.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

preparation for lectures, seminars, and tutorials (60 hours)
literature search and creative study drug development design - poster design and presentation (20 hours)
commentary on drug development failure or success stories, critical analysis and essay write-up (40 hours ).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will receive formative oral group feedback on material prepared and delivered in seminars and tutorials to help them improve their critical thinking and knowledge of the field, as well as during a tutorial dedicated to providing formative feedback on their poster plans. They will also have the opportunity to submit a content page/plan for their commentary and receive individual written formative feedback.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssaySubmission of content page / plan of the planned commentary on the key findings of anti-cancer agent development for formative feedback0.00
Tutorial PerformanceCreative study drug development design. Poster preparation formative feedback0.00
EssayCommentary on the key findings of anti-cancer agent development 2000 words60.00
Poster PresentationCreative study drug development design - 15 min poster presentation40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Compensation applies

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:42:43


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