Chapter 1.3

Molecular Oncology Objectives and Resources

This presentation discusses the differences between benign and malignant tumors, the multifactorial and multistage causes of cancer, oncology markers used to detect genetic mutations, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, the cell cycle, targets and methods for the molecular detection of disease, proto-oncogenes, HER2/neu, FISH, ISH, p53, BRCA1, BRCA2, and other molecular markers for cancer.  (51 slides)


  • Define “tumor” and “cancer”, and be able to distinguish between benign and malignant neoplasms.
  • Gain an understanding of cancer development.
  • Differentiate between tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes in terms of normal and abnormal functions and how they contribute to the development of tumorigenic cells.
  • Identify the common oncogene and tumor suppressor gene mutations in the development of human cancer.

Readings:  MD*, Chapter 14 (This reading may be too advanced for this point in the curriculum.  It could be done later, after the students have been introduced to the methods.)


Return to Chapter 1 – Molecular Basis of Cancer