Targeted Treatments for Cancers of the Digestive System

Thursday 23 May, Royal Marsden Hospital London

1-day course: Targeted Treatments for Cancers of the Digestive System

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Audience: Ideal for pharmacists, research nurses, people from pharmaceutical companies, junior doctors or anyone who has been on one of my other courses. Requires a basic understanding of cancer genetics and cancer cell biology.

Description: In this course I describe the faulty genes, pathways and proteins that drive colorectal, head and neck, pancreatic, oesophageal, gastric and primary liver cancer. I also explain the science behind many targeted treatment approaches for these diseases, including EGFR- and HER2-targeted antibodies, angiogenesis inhibitors and immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors. 

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An introduction to cancer biology and genetics

  • Linking DNA damage to cancer development
  • Epigenetics – altering gene expression without genetic mutation
  • Cancer cells and their microenvironment
  • An introduction to cell signalling
  • Genetic instability and intra-tumoural heterogeneity
  • Monoclonal antibodies and kinase inhibitors: spot the difference
Introducing colorectal cancer
  • The genesis of colorectal cancer
  • Chromosomal instability phenotype
  • Microsatellite instability (MSI) and CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP)
Targeted treatments for colorectal cancer
  • EGFR targeted treatments
  • Angiogenesis inhibitors
  • Immunotherapy for MSI- high colorectal cancer

Targeted treatments for head and neck, oesophageal and stomach cancer

  • Cellular & molecular makeup: adenocarcinoma vs. squamous cell carcinoma
  • EGFR and HER2 targeted treatments
  • Angiogenesis inhibitors
  • Immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors

Targeted treatments for pancreatic cancer and primary liver cancer

  • The molecular and cellular makeup of pancreatic cancer
  • A few dead ends and current approaches in UK trials
  • The molecular and cellular makeup of primary liver cancer
  • Current and future approaches to targeted treatments for liver cancer