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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Precision Medicine 1
Module Code BE535
School School of Biotechnology
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Alex Eustace
Semester 2: Alex Eustace
Autumn: Alex Eustace
Module TeachersPaul Cahill
Alex Eustace
Denise Harold
Michael Freeley
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

Module Aims: Precision Medicine 1 will focus on how advances in our understanding of cancer biology, together with advances in molecular diagnostics and targeted therapeutics, have revolutionised the treatment and outcome of cancer by tailoring treatments to the individual patient. Students will initially develop an understanding of the molecular, cellular and environmental basis of cancer. They will subsequently learn how through Precision Medicine, the treatment of several cancers has shifted away from the “One-Size-Fits-All” approach of treatment to a focused and tailored strategy based on the molecular profile of a patient’s tumour. The module will also focus on the critical importance of predictive diagnostic assays (Companion Diagnostics, Complimentary Diagnostics and Laboratory-Developed Tests) and prognostic diagnostic assays in Precision Medicine, as well as emerging role of diagnostics in the drug development process. Students will therefore develop an understanding of the theory and practice of Precision Medicine in oncology and how this knowledge has been translated into improved outcomes for cancer patients.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a range of standard and specialist knowledge of the genetic, molecular, cellular and environmental basis of cancer.
2. Using specific examples, critically appraise the milestones that led to the development of targeted therapeutics and diagnostics for the treatment of several cancers, including target identification/evaluation in pre-clinical models and the pivotal human clinical trials that led to their regulatory approval.
3. Critically evaluate the role of biomarkers in cancer screening, diagnosis, stratification of patients for therapy, monitoring of response to therapy and patient prognosis.
4. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge of the various types of in-vitro diagnostic assays that are used in Precision Medicine (including Companion Diagnostics, Complimentary Diagnostics and Laboratory-Developed Tests) and be able to distinguish between them.
5. Critically appraise how diagnostics have been integrated into the drug development process (drug-diagnostic co-development), and by highlighting several case studies, the challenges in implementing this co-development.
6. Demonstrate a specialist knowledge of the critical issues remaining to identify, classify and treat cancer more effectively and more efficiently.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture18Online lectures
Assignment Completion502 x short assignments relating to topics on Precision Medicine for Cancer.
Tutorial66 x tutorials
Assignment Completion110Long assignment relating to a contemporary topic in Precision Medicine for Cancer.
Independent Study66Independent study of lecture material and directed reading.
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Precision Medicine 1: Targeted Therapeutics and Diagnostics for Cancer
Introduction to Precision Medicine; Introduction to Cancer; Clinical Trials in the Precision Medicine era; Companion Diagnostics, Complimentary Diagnostics and Laboratory-Developed Tests; Precision Medicine for Breast Cancer; Precision Medicine for Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia; Precision Medicine for Melanoma; Precision Medicine Immunotherapies for Cancer; Precision Medicine for Lung Cancer; Precision Medicine for Colorectal Cancer; Looking ahead and Future Challenges

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Assignment2 x short assignments20%n/a
Loop ExamOnline exam - multiple choice questions, short answer questions and long answer questions30%n/a
Assignment1 x long assignment on a given topic in Precision Medicine Oncology50%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

    Other Resources

    Programme or List of Programmes
    CDPMG Cert Diagnostics & Precision Medicine
    CHPMMaster of Science
    MDPMMSc in Diagnostics & Precision Medicine
    PYPMMaster of Science

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