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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to the Biology of Cancer by Johns Hopkins University

4.8
stars
5,755 ratings
1,157 reviews

About the Course

Over 500,000 people in the United States and over 8 million people worldwide are dying every year from cancer. As people live longer, the incidence of cancer is rising worldwide and the disease is expected to strike over 20 million people annually by 2030. This open course is designed for people who would like to develop an understanding of cancer and how it is prevented, diagnosed, and treated. The course introduces the molecular biology of cancer (oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes) as well as the biologic hallmarks of cancer. The course also describes the risk factors for the major cancers worldwide, including lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, and stomach cancer. We explain how cancer is staged, the major ways cancer is found by imaging, and how the major cancers are treated. In addition to the core materials, this course includes two Honors lessons devoted to cancers of the liver and prostate. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: - Identify the major types of cancer worldwide. (Lecture 1) - Describe how genes contribute to the risk and growth of cancer. (Lecture 2) - List and describe the ten cellular hallmarks of cancer. (Lecture 3) - Define metastasis, and identify the major steps in the metastatic process. (Lecture 4) - Describe the role of imaging in the screening, diagnosis, staging, and treatments of cancer. (Lecture 5) - Explain how cancer is treated. (Lecture 6) We hope that this course gives you a basic understanding of cancer biology and treatment. The course is not designed for patients seeking treatment guidance – but it can help you understand how cancer develops and provides a framework for understanding cancer diagnosis and treatment....

Top reviews

AH
Mar 17, 2017

I am an Undergraduate student and i didnt even read oncology subject, but this course not just start the beginer level , butt gradually it goes in depth and the flow of lectuures and topics is smooth

AK
Jul 31, 2020

Excellent course for anyone interested in knowing more about the origin, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, even for beginners. Thanks to JHU for putting such an excellent course material together!

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976 - 1000 of 1,135 Reviews for Introduction to the Biology of Cancer

By Emayamsavitha

Apr 29, 2020

Gud

By Sara W

Aug 26, 2020

..

By Kshitija P

Jul 4, 2020

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By Laura M D B

May 21, 2020

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By Eleni P

Mar 11, 2020

My personal interest in this subject is primarily the fact that my mum died of lung cancer two years ago after 4.5 years after diagnosis. She had received chemotherapy, radiation as well as alternative therapy. And I was very much involved in her decisions. Concerning the course, although the content was really good, I need to make some comments in order to improve the course. Except from the first doctor, all the other speakers spoke very very fast and it was difficult to follow as a non native speaker even though my English is very good. It would have been better to talk a little bit slower. Also, I would make the course a little bit longer, a few more steps in between the lessons, slower meaning more explaining. Also, I would have appreciated if the lecturers were speaking facing the screen a bit more, not just showing slides. I would have also given some case studies. The course lacked case studies. For example I would have given at the end a whole week of cases studies, ie 6 case studies of people who had cancer, what type of treatment they had, others that did not have treatment as well. I would also have a quiz on these. Furthermore, I would have given some examples of alternative therapies too as working as complementary for example to treatment of cancer. I would have also given some examples of incidence and treatment of cancer in a selected other countries. I would have made this topic for an extra week as well. I would definitely be interested in taking a more advanced course as well.

By Chaska W

Dec 22, 2017

Nice introductory course. Maybe the weak part were the hallmarks in relation to the cell-cycle. Cell-cycle checkpoints can be found in S, G2 and M-phases. Upon checkpoint-dependent cell-cycle arrest, cells do not exit the cell-cycle and, thus, they do not re-enter the cell-cycle once checkpoints have been satisfied. That is, they stay within the cell-cycle. Exit would entail senescence, which is theoretically irreversible (although it can be overcome). Hence, after arrest, cells could not exit the cell-cycle (Cyclins and Cdks are kept in check, for example, by p21 upon activation of the DNA-damage response to double strand breaks [ATM/Chk2/p53/p21). Speaking of senescence, fates stemming from p53 activation can be apoptosis but also senescence. Thus, avoiding cell-death is critical, but so is avoiding senescence (p53/p21-dependent). Finally, G0 is quiescence, not senescence. Quiescence is a reversible withdrawal from the cell-cycle whilst senescence is not. PD-L1/2 upregulation exhausts cytotoxic T-cells within the tumor microenvironment by activating PD-1. Howbeit, the activation of CTLA4 also inhibit T-cell function outside of the tumor microenvironment in a previous stage. CTLA4 inhibitory antibodies are under intense research and such research preceded that of PD-1 inhibitory antibodies. I feel CTLA4 should be mentioned.

By Saswata B

Nov 23, 2018

The course is well organized and the very important points related to cancer have been covered briefly. It is surprising how the instructors organized the course to encompass all the relevant topics in a 6 week week module. What I think would be important updates are: 1. Better diagrams and cartoons, 2. Little bit more challenging quizzes (like the one I found after the "imaging in cancer" lesson, 3. Some reference to important journal articles during the course, which interested learners can consult, 4. At least another lesson on the hallmarks of cancer, 5. A separate module on the genetics of cancer, and 6. A bit vivid discussion on liver cancer (the "honors" module) . However, the course is great and I personally found it to be a very wonderful starting point to learn about the biology of cancer.

By Kathleen P

Oct 7, 2020

This course is very informative. However, I think the course contains too much contents which are not explained very specifically. I think spending more time to elaborate certain topics would be helpful. Also, I think it is better for students to preview some knowledge related to cell biology, which could help to understand some concepts/mechanisms more easily.

I am not a native English speaker so I am not quite sure whether people have to spend a lot of time memorizing all the terms. As least for me, to remember and recognize all of them is really difficult.

Overall, this course is really helpful!

By John B

Oct 13, 2016

Well-structured course, Dr. Pienta and his fellow team-members are passionate in what they do, and that's evident during the course, but I can't help to think that they have barely scratched the surface here... The lectures are good, they provide a lot of information, but the quizzes offer no challenge whatsoever. That was somewhat disappointing, it felt like I was cheating. All in all, I don't regret buying and completing the course, but I really hope that Dr. Pienta's team will be back soon with a more challenging and advanced course.

By Sushant E

Sep 25, 2020

This course was very informative and very educational. However, one thing that I think could change is how long the estimated course time is because it doesn't account for how long it will take for you to take notes. I also think that the videos could have been shorter as some of them were about 15 minutes long which isn't that bad but the time it takes to take notes makes the 15 minutes turn into 45 minutes each. But overall, the course was very informative and I would recommend it to all.

By luana b

Dec 17, 2020

Great informations but the creator of this class have to check and correct AT LEAST the English subtitles. They are clearly automatic subtitle and are wrong, which is really anoying. Especially for non-native english speakers..It has not been done since 2016, the year on which this mooc was posted, even though it is such a small effort to make but it will be very beneficial for those who are taking the class.

Thank you in advance for considering this proposition. Overall great class

By Vinal R G

Jun 2, 2020

I'm so happy about taking up this course. I've always wanted to learn something new which is different from my current field of studies [commerce]. I got a clear glance of what cancer is and the different types of treatments available. I've also learnt many new topics and words that I had never come across. I would surely recommend this course if you are wanting to know about the cancer, it's treatments and a general base to strengthen your knowledge about cancer.

By Nguyen Q B

Jan 3, 2020

I'm going to have Neuro-Oncology clinical rotation; therefore, I took this course. Honestly, I had expected to learn more deeper knowledge from the course, then it even didn't cover CNS tumor :(. However, the lessons is really suitable for whom has a little information about cancer, it was my fault for not read the instruction before purchasing. Great teaching attitude, I may introduce this course to my colleges.

Thank you.

By Andres J T G

Nov 6, 2016

I Higly recomend this course if you dont know mutch about cancer and you are interested iin learning about it, the information is prety simple (i am studing medicin so it may not be as simple for other people) but is very usfull and it gives an idea about the basics of cancer.

Thanks for this course and sorry if my english is not perfect... i speek spanish

By Hiba A

Jul 6, 2020

It was an amazing course as I was not only taught about introduction to cancer but also its biology,imaging and treatment techniques.I feel i have learnt how to go about the process of screening and diagnosis of cancer and that by avoiding few habits and by inculcating healthy living, WE all could be safe from cancer .

By Vedangi N K

Aug 19, 2018

This course is really useful for undergraduate students aiming for basic understanding of cancer treatments. Explanations and course material is well structured. For students with prior background in Biology will find initial lessons familiar but later pharmacological and imaging modules are quite informative.

By K.S A

Dec 17, 2020

Interacting with a medical practitioner treating , or who has treated cases may be of help. It would also be useful to assign students with assignments such as maybe a field study of the commonly prescribed cancer drugs at their local hospital. A very well made course otherwise. Thank you for this.

By Aaron M

Aug 7, 2016

This was an interesting cancer basics class -- quick and simple for those with minimal background in oncology. The only disappointment was that the course description mentioned quizzes could be taken for no cost, but that turned out not to be true. Nevertheless, it was a valuable course.

By Zia U M

Feb 1, 2019

An amazing course for beginners. Would recommend to everyone with interest in the Emperor of all Maladies- Cancer.

It would be greatful to have more courses at an advanced level specially including the techniques employed in research. Thank you so much Coursera and team of John Hopkins.

By Vasily S

Feb 17, 2017

I am a biochemist and will be working on a cancer-related problem as a postdoc. This course was very helpful for me as it provided a clear general understanding of cancer, and I would have rated it five stars if it wasn't for multiple typos and inaccuracies in the course materials ;)

By Yuewei X

Aug 20, 2017

The course is very informative and I've learnt a lot.

However, the lectures are quite dry since there are no more than just PPT slides. Meanwhile, some questions or quiz are not designed very well. They cannot effective assess how much content the students have really leant.

By 赵健

Oct 31, 2016

这是第一门自己申请助学金的课程,而霍普金斯大学也是我非常敬仰的学校,然而这门课程却不如我预想中的完美,第一是视频上来看,图形资源比较匮乏,多媒体资源没有很好的和讲课内容匹配,比如课程音频说的here 在屏幕上并没有显示出来具体的指示标识;第二是相关的资源太少了,如果相比莱顿大学的腹部解剖那门课程来说的确是比较枯燥。不过因为自己本身是这个专业的所以看起来障碍不是太大,不过对于没有肿瘤学基础的人来说上面的问题可能影响会比较大一些,希望团队能在这一方面继续改进。最后还是要感谢各位老师带来这么一门优秀的课程,我从中学到了很多!再次感谢!

By Karima B

Apr 25, 2018

I enjoyed this course and learned a lot. Some of the lecturers spoke too quickly or in an overly complicated manner making the lessons hard to follow. But overall, this is a great introduction to the subject and can be completed much more quickly than suggested.

By Angel Z

Apr 24, 2019

I really like the class in a way how the class is structured, introducing common types of cancers, hallmarks, development process etc. I have learned a lot! The only thing I wish for the class is less technical or more time in explaining terminology etc.

By SHENDE V M

Sep 29, 2020

The course was good and very informative and reflects all the basic knowledge of introduction to cancer. I had also completed optional honors content but I didn't receive the certificate with honors. Thank you for making such a incredible online course.