Coordinated by Professor Kevin J Naidoo, Director, Scientific Computing Research Unit, University of Cape Town                       

Monday 15–Friday 19 January 5.00 pm COURSE FEES R550; Staff and students R275

There is much variation in cancer and scientists are increasingly convinced that a more effective treatment option for cancer is a personalised treatment. The first lecture provides an overview of the development of personalised molecular oncology and provides insights into different kinds of cancers: how they are caused, characterised and diagnosed, and what progress has been made in identifying targets to treat.

The second lecture delves into the intricate world of cancer, focusing on the underlying biological pathways and cellular processes that contribute to its development and progression, shedding light on how these cellular mechanisms can lead to the early diagnosis of cancer and how they can be targeted for therapeutic interventions. Next, the role of genetics in cancers is highlighted and show that all cancers are the result of a genetic change which may occur de novo affecting a specific gene that has to do with cell growth, resulting in a sporadic cancer,

or it may occur as an inherited event occurring in every cell of the body.

The fourth lecture will analyse the seemingly insurmountable genomic and biochemical data that provide the gateway to early detection and specialised therapeutics and patient care.

In the final session, views on cancer research and laboratory and clinical training needed for South Africa to beat the odds of a growing health care crisis will be discussed. The panel will ask whether South African research laboratories preparing tools to support the transition to the necessary framework in cancer care to deal with the estimated massive growth in the incidence of cancer by 2040 can succeed.

Lecture titles

  1. Molecular oncology and what it means in the clinical workspace  Prof Jeannette Parkes
  2. Cancer biological pathways and cellular processes  Prof Sharon Prince
  3. The role of genetics in cancers  Prof Raj Ramesar
  4. Discovering molecular biomarkers and therapeutics using big data analytics  Prof Kevin Naidoo
  5. Personalised cancer care imperfect … Panel Discussion

Participants can earn CPD points for this course.