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Signal Transduction and Hallmarks of Cancer


Admission requirements

Master BPS; Basic knowledge of Cell Biology and Biochemistry.


Cancer is a complex disease in which mutations in the DNA cause aberrant cellular signaling that ultimately affects critical cell functions. Several hallmarks of cancer have been defined including cell autonomous aberrations affecting survival, proliferation, and metabolism as well as altered communication with multiple cell types in the cancer microenvironment. Together, these hallmarks allow tumors to develop, grow, metastasize, and evade therapies.

This course aims to introduce the complexity of cancer as a disease with a focus on signal transduction cascades mediating the hallmarks of cancer and raise students’ interest in opportunities to translate this knowledge to cancer therapies.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the various hallmarks of cancer.

  • Knowledge of the signaling pathways in control of these hallmarks of cancer.

  • Knowledge of the different aspects of the tumor microenvironment.

  • Understanding the impact of the tumor microenvironment on disease progression.

  • Understanding the complexity of the disease.

  • Understanding how this complexity complicates therapies but may also provide new avenues for therapy.


Semester 2, period 3. The specific schedule will be published on Brightspace.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and paper discussions.

Assessment method

Written Exam (70%), written assignment (30%). No minimum grade for the components. Pass/fail for presence and active participation in paper discussions.

Reading list

  • Albert et al, Molecular Biology of the Cell; Hanahan D and Weinberg RA (2011) Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation. Cell 144:646-674.

  • Papers assigned by teachers.


Application via uSis. Registration closes 14 days before the start of the course or earlier, when the maximum number of participants of 50 students is reached.


Coordinator: Prof. dr. E.H.J. Danen;


This information is without prejudice. Alterations can be made for next year.