Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit offers an advanced study in cellular and molecular changes responsible for the development and progression of human cancers. Special emphasis is given to the role of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes in abnormal cell growth, programmed cell death, as well as mechanisms of tumour angiogenesis, invasion, metastasis and response to therapy. Several major types of human cancers are covered including those of the breast, colon and prostate. Hereditary cancer syndromes are also discussed. Practical aspects of the unit include techniques for investigation into the cellular and genetic changes occurring in human tumours.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine major sequence

Students are able to (1) describe the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the genetic predisposition, development and progression of neoplasia in humans; (2) describe the role of modifications to oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes in abnormal cell growth as well as factors which influence programmed cell death and mechanisms implicated in tumour angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis; (3) describe the pathobiology of the major types of human cancers including those which occur in the breast, colon and prostate; (4) describe the strategies and possible outcomes of different types of therapies applicable to different types of cancer; (5) perform a range of laboratory techniques and methods used to investigate and demonstrate cellular and genetic changes associated with the development of human tumours; and (6) synthesise, critique and present information from the scientific literature pertaining to human cancers.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) continuous assessment and (2) end of semester examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Belinda Guo and Assoc. Prof. Kathy Fuller
Unit rules
PATH2210 Fundamentals of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (ID 434)
and PATH2220 Introduction to Human Disease
Contact hours
lectures: 2-3 hours per week
tutorials/seminars: 2–3 hours per week (up to 5 sessions throughout semester)
labs: 3 hours per week (total of 9 hours throughout semester)


  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.