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CARES courses

Clinical Trials in Cancer (online)

organised by Roger Olofsson Bagge, UGOT

The course provides an understanding of the regulatory and quality principles that govern clinical trials for drugs, biomarkers and medical devices, including Good Clinical Practice (GCP), and different types of study design. The course also provides an understanding of ethical and statistical considerations, biobanking, study protocol structure and content as well as the requirements for planning, obtaining approvals and conducting a clinical trial. The course will run during the whole 18 month period and cover the following aspects in clinical trial in cancer:

  • Good Clinical Practice (ICH GCP)
  • Clinical trial design
  • Ethics
  • National regulation in clinical trials
  • Strategies and tools for recruitment
  • Clinical trial protocol
  • Administration of clinical trials
  • Statistics and power in study design
  • Data analysis and management
  • Result and evaluation
  • Register-based randomized clinical trials
  • Health economy and clinical research

The course consists of approximately 17 modules with online lectures and assignments.

Learning outcomes: After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • define good-clinical practice, design, as well as ethical and regulatory requirements for clinical trials.
  • describe the creation of study protocols, preparation, recruitment of patients and administration of clinical trials.
  • show knowledge of data management, results and analysis of study data.
  • have knowledge of register-based randomized clinical trials and health economic analyzes.

Competence and skills

  • assess a clinical trial regarding Good clinical practice and ethical and regulatory requirements,
  • show ability to design a basic clinical trial,
  • apply strategies for data management and analysis of collected data.

Judgement and approach

  • assess the suitability of conducting different types of clinical studies,
  • evaluate the usefulness of a clinical trial from a patient perspective.

Translational Cancer Research 

organised by Siker Kimbung and Gabriel Adrian, LU

Objectives: The aim of the course is to provide participants with an overall understanding of preclinical and clinical translational cancer research’s scientific principles, requirements and execution.

Content: By presenting key concepts and examples of translational cancer research projects, the course will provide a broad perspective on translational cancer research, from discovery to implementation in public healthcare, and present relevant skills that are necessary for cancer researchers. The various roles of the different disciplines and public authorities that are involved in translational cancer research will be discussed and information will be presented on local resources that can be utilized by the students in order to achieve the goals of their cancer research projects. The course will also provide basic knowledge on the ethical and data protection requirements that apply in translational and clinical studies. Furthermore, general rules will be presented concerning how to ensure the reproducibility of research and its compliance with the guidelines and standards for conducting and reporting preclinical and clinical research projects.

Learning outcomes: On completion of the course, the participants shall be able to:

  • • Understand the definition and goals of translational science and describe the scientific and organisational principles for translational research that can be applied to improve translationally-oriented cancer research projects
  • • Discuss the step-by-step approach for translating a research discovery into an effective medicine or aid in order to fulfil a specific public health need
  • • Describe the pitfalls of translational cancer research and the general principles for avoiding them

Design: The course corresponds to five days of full-time study and is based on active participation by the course participants. Teaching will mainly consist of compulsory pre-recorded lectures and independent study of selected literature. A compulsory examination will be conducted independently at the end of the course. The participants are expected to have access to a laptop computer and possess a basic understanding of clinical trials.

Assessment: The assessment is based on a multiple-choice questionnaire (MCQ) at the end of the course. To be awarded a grade of Pass for the course, the participant is required to actively participate in all the course components.

Liquid Biopsy 

organised by Anders Ståhlberg, UGOT

The development of ultrasensitive technologies enable the detection and quantification few analytes in complex matrices, such as liquid biopsy. In cancer management and research, liquid biopsy analysis can be used in screening, diagnostics, monitoring treatment efficacy as wells as early detection of minimal residual disease and relapse. This course outline the potentials and limitations of liquid biopsy analysis in cancer management. Practical and theoretical aspects of sampling, preanalytical steps, biomarker analysis, data analysis and clinical interpretation will be included within the application areas of cancer. We have a specific focus on DNA and RNA analysis, as well as on clinical utility. The course will be given in a digital format, including lectures and group discussions.

Learning outcomes: After completing the course the PhD student is expected to be able to:
Knowledge and understanding

  • Explain the difference in analysing tissue biopsies and liquid biopsies
  • Describe the potentials and limitations of different analytical tools to study liquid biopsies
  • Discuss the use of liquid biopsy analysis in cancer diagnostics

Competence and skills

  • Ability to plan preanalytical steps and liquid biopsy analysis
  • Ability to design and perform biomarker analysis using liquid biopsies
  • Justify the use of liquid biopsy analysis within cancer diagnostics
  • Apply their background knowledge in liquid biopsy analysis within new applications areas

Judgement and approach

  • Assess the eligibility of applying liquid biopsy analysis in reported studies
  • Judge the clinical value of liquid biopsy analysis in cancer diagnostics

Medical Bioinformatics

organised by Gottfrid Sjödahl and Karin Engström, LU

Objectives: The aim of the course is to provide participants with a basic understanding of bioinformatics concepts and methods.

Content: The course will provide awareness, from theoretical as well as practical perspectives, of bioinformatics resources and tools available in the different phases of a study, from the planning phase to the analysis, interpretation and presentation of data. Through the presentation of key concepts/terms and examples of bioinformatics work processes, the course gives a broad introduction to bioinformatics. It highlights resources that can facilitate self-directed learning in bioinformatics and provides information about the local, national and international support available with regard to bioinformatics.

Learning outcomes: On completion of the course, the participants shall be able to:

  • explain key concepts and terms in bioinformatics
  • use bioinformatics tools to analyse, organise and interpret large-scale data
  • identify resources for further learning in bioinformatics

Design: The course consists of five whole days that are compulsory and based on the active participation of doctoral students. The teaching will be a mixture of different forms, including lectures, group exercises and individual practical exercises. Independent study of selected texts is also included. Participants are expected to have access to a laptop. Furthermore, the course includes one compulsory assignment, in which the doctoral student is to reflect on a research situation (from their own research, if possible) where bioinformatic analyses can be used, discuss it in a group discussion and finally propose in writing how bioinformatics can be used to enrich the previously described research situation.

Assessment: For a Pass on the course, participants must have actively participated in all course components and submitted the compulsory assignment.

Epigenetics in Cancer Research 

organised by Helena Carén, UGOT

The course will introduce the concepts of epigenetics (DNA methylation, chromatin structure and histone modifications and non-coding RNA), how it is involved in diseases, can be used in clinical diagnostics and how epigenetic analyses are planned and performed.

The course will cover the following topics:
(1) The current state of knowledge on epigenetics in health and disease, specifically in cancer
(2) The potential of using epigenetics in cancer diagnostics
(3) Epigenetic therapy as an emerging strategy for treating cancer and
(4) How to design and carry out epigenetic experiments

The course is given in a digital format, requiring computer access and internet. All content, communication and relevant documents, such as lectures, exercises and literature, will be posted at an online platform such as CANVAS.

Learning outcomes: After completion of the course, the student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Account for the concept of epigenetics and its role in health and disease.
  • Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of experimental strategies, methods and tools for epigenetic analyses.

Competence and skills

  • Describe and discuss the structure and role of epigenetics in health and disease.
  • Demonstrate the ability to choose suitable experimental and computational approaches for epigenetic research questions.
  • Critically analyse, explain and discuss scientific topics and research issues in epigenetics.

Judgement and approach

  • Understand the techniques that have been introduced in the course and be able to select the most suitable methods for specific research questions.
  • Demonstrate skills in critical thinking and show understanding of the epigenome and its role in cancer.