Curriculum & Course Descriptions


BS4012 Current Topics in Cancer Drug Development

Course Coordinator: Asst. Professor Melissa Fullwood (email:

Academic Unit: 3 AU

Availability: Semester 1

Pre-requisite: BS3004 Cancer Biology

Course Type: BS-Major PE, GER-UE

Language of instruction: English

Teaching hours: Lectures: 12 hours; Tutorials: 24 hours; Online assignments/readings/lectures: 36 hours

Learning Objective: 

1. To learn what are the principles and considerations in designing cancer drugs.
2. To learn the latest ways by which cancer drugs are developed, and examples thereof.
3. To learn to understand the latest scientific literature, as well as write about science.


This course will focus on understanding how drugs are discovered, and the reasons why, as well as on the latest developments in cancer drug development.

The course will include:

1.     Introduction to cancer and drug development

2.     Principles and considerations of the drug development process

3.     Steps in drug development

4.     Examples of cancer drugs and therapies

5.     Reading the scientific literature

6.     Writing about science

Learning Outcome: 

1.  Students will be able to describe how cancer drugs are developed, and the reasons why drug development is conducted in such a manner.

2. Students will be able to describe several examples of the latest, exciting developments in cancer drug development.

3.  Students will be able to read and understand examples of scientific literature (in the context of cancer drug development) and write about science (in the context of cancer drug development).


1. “Cancer Drug Design and Discovery”, edited by Stephen Neidle. Second edition, Elsevier, ISBN: 978-0123965219, published on 14 November, 2013.

2. “The Biology of Cancer”, Robert A. Weinberg. Second edition, Garland Science, ISBN: 978-0815342205, published on 18 May, 2013.

3. “Anticancer Drug Development Guide Preclinical Screening, Clinical Trials, and Approval”, edited by Beverly A. Teicher and Paul A. Andrews. Second edition, Humana Press, ISBN: 978-1588292285, published 1 February, 2004.