PATH30190 Oncology & Immunopathology

Academic Year 2023/2024

The Oncology and Immunopathology Module (PATH30190) reviews the biochemical and molecular processes underlying neoplastic diseases and the pharmacologic agents used to intervene in these processes through lectures, tutorials and online British Medical Journal (BMJ) tutorial submissions.

This module covers the basic pathology of cancer to include tumour classification and terminology, invasion and metastasis and molecular carcinogenesis. The pathology of tumours of the breast, bone and soft tissues, the skin (malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers) and childhood tumours are included, as are chemotherapeutic and biotherapeutic agents, including targeted therapies, monoclonal antibody therapies and an introduction to the care of the patient with cancer, including the management of side effects of chemotherapy.

Immunopathology processes are reviewed with special emphasis being placed on the mechanisms underlying hypersensitivity reactions, autoimmunity, transplantation and rejection. In addition, the clinical presentation, pathology and treatment of systemic autoimmune diseases (including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis and various systemic vasculitides) are discussed. The pharmacology of anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents are also reviewed.

The clinical presentation, behaviour and pharmacological management of these inflammatory, immunologic and neoplastic diseases are introduced together with clinicopathological correlation and elementary planning and evaluation of treatment through lectures and tutorials.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the module, students should have:-

1. Improved their biomedical knowledge by being able to:-
(a). Understand the principles of tumour classification and terminology, tumour characteristics and tumour progression (invasion and metastasis).
(b). Outline the causes of cancer including viral, chemical and physical carcinogenesis and hereditary predisposition.
(c). Outline and discuss the biochemical, molecular and genetic basis (oncogenes/tumour suppressor genes) of neoplasia and the points of possible therapeutic intervention
(d). Outline and discuss the pathology of benign and malignant breast lesions, neoplasms of bone, soft tissue, skin and childhood tumours
(e). Outline the underlying principles, modes of action, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and major side effects of specific chemotherapeutic, biotherapeutic and other anti-neoplastic agents and evaluate their use in treating neoplastic disease
(f). Describe the pathology of common multi-system autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid disease and connective tissue diseases and discuss extracellular pathology and the pathology associated with ageing.
(g). Outline the principles underlying tissue transplantation and the immunologic basis and pathologic features of rejection.
(h). Outline the mode of action, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, principal side effects and major applications of the immunosuppressive agents.
(i). Outline the mode of action, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, principal side effects and major applications of the anti-inflammatory agents.

2. Improved their clinical and investigative skills by being able to
(a). Formulate an approach to the differential diagnosis, prognostic evaluation and management of neoplastic disease and outline and discuss the medical issues for the care of the cancer patient.

(b). Formulate an approach to the diagnosis, laboratory investigation and treatment of autoimmune and multisystem diseases and transplant rejection.

3 Improved their professional and personal skills by
(a). Observing and assimilating the professional attitudes of the oncologist, clinical pharmacologist, immunologist and pathologist as they provide clinical illustrations of disease.
(b). Appreciating the integral importance of Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) approaches to the delivery of personalised patient care.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Seminar (or Webinar)


Conversation Class


Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module contains:-

-Clinical Seminar
-Clinical Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT) presentation 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Students are required to have a background in human physiology and biochemistry

AND to have a module / combination of modules with equivalent learning outcomes such as PATH30080 Disease Mechanisms and Pharmacological Principles.

Specifically, students are required to have studied modules covering cellular and tissue responses to injury, cell death, inflammation, and human immunology

Learning Exclusions:

PHAR 30100

Learning Recommendations:

Students wishing to register for this module as an Elective must please contact the Module Coordinator.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
PATH30080 - Disease Mechanisms & Pharmacol

PHAR30010 - Chemotherapeutic agents

Additional Information:
Students must have taken PATH30080 Disease Mechanisms and Pharmacological Principles in order to register to this module.

Oncology & Immunopathology (MDSA30190), Oncology and Rheumatology (PATH30260)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: Online submission of 5 British Medical Journal PDF certificates of competency in a themed area of oncology/ immunopathology Unspecified n/a Graded No


Examination: SAQ component of 2 hour written examination 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: MCQ component of 2 hour written examination 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Group Project: Multidisciplinary team (MDT) Group work. This will be subject to academic and Peer Scholar assessment. Varies over the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Towards the end of this module, there will be a formative assessment covering the styles of questions to be expected on the exit examination.

Name Role
Assoc Professor Helen Gallagher Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Melinda Halasz Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Jan Iglesias Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Stephen Lalor Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Eleanor Wallace Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Luana Schito Tutor
Dr Sami Termanini Tutor