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PA30326: Specialised integrated unit 7: oncology & palliative care

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Further information on credits Credits: 12      [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 240
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 50%, EX 50%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Mini MOT (CW 16% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
  • Cancer guide (CW 17% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
  • Problem based learning (CW 17% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
  • Examination (EX 50% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: While taking this module you must take PA30324 AND take PA30325 AND take PA30327 AND take PA30328
Description: Aims:
To provide a comprehensive, integrated understanding of the design and development of medicines, their pharmacological actions in the body and the evidence-based approach to treatment of patients with the aim of promoting safe and effective outcomes in oncology and palliative care.

Learning Outcomes:
After successfully completing this unit, the student pharmacist will be able to:
1. Describe the aetiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical symptoms of common cancers and how they are prevented, diagnosed and treated.
2. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the disease process in cancer and the complexity of its treatment
3. Explain the disease and patient monitoring factors in malignant diseases
4. Identify and critically evaluate evidence-based approaches for the management of common malignancies and those receiving palliative care.
5. Explain formulation, pharmacokinetic and pharmacogenetic approaches as tools to optimize therapy outcomes for patients with cancer and receiving palliative care
6. Explain the principles and concepts in providing palliative care to patients with malignant and non-malignant disease
7. Describe the primary and secondary care roles for healthcare professionals/pharmacists in the treatment of cancer and in palliative care
8. Make appropriate clinical decisions in support of rational treatment of patients with cancer and those receiving palliative care.
9. Apply complex structured consultation skills to the conditions studied in this unit

Scientific and practical skills (T/F/A)
Study skills, handling information, working with others (T/F)
Problem solving (T/F/A)
Study skills (T/F)
Handling information (T/F/A)
Written communication (T/F/A) S
cientific & practical skills (T/F/A)
Information & communication technology (ICT) (T/F)

Content to include:
Clinical introduction and overview of therapeutic area - Problem-based learning case based on the journey of a cancer patient
* Pharmaceutics theme
- Individualized therapy in oncology and palliative care: Pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetic approaches, ADME, dose individualization in cancer patients - ASCO guidelines
- Use of biologicals in cancer. Design, formulation and clinical use
- Passive and active targeted drug delivery
- Cell based therapies, gene therapy. Stem cells and regenerative medicine
* Pharmacology theme
- Molecular biology of cancer, oncogenes, tumour suppressors, angiogenesis, metastases, the Glivec story
- Diagnostic genotyping
- Basics of chemotherapy, dose approaches in cancer, drug delivery
* Medicinal chemistry and drug design theme
- Advanced applications of molecular modelling
- Structure based drug design (PARPs)
- Drug design - Hormonal regulation, anti-metabolites, mitotic spindles, alkylators, DNA cleavers, intercalators, biological targeting, cell cycle regulators
- The medicinal chemistry of anti-oestrogens and anti - androgens
* Clinical therapeutics theme
- Diagnostics and Imaging - Contrast media
- Management of patients with solid tumours
- Complications with chemotherapy
- Supportive treatments - anti-emetics, GCSF, prophylaxis antibiotics
- Lymphoma & leukaemia
- Skin cancer and UV therapies
- Oncological emergencies
- Pharmacy Cytotoxic Services
- Principles of clinical decision making in oncology
- Current research in cancer
- Palliative care services in the UK, symptom control, non-malignant disease
- Continuous Infusion Devices
- Care at the end of life
- Pharmacoeconomic issues in oncology
- Radiation - decay and theory, use in imaging, radiotherapy, radiopharmaceuticals
* Simulation and practice-based learning in oncology and palliative care.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PA30326 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
  • USPA-AFM03 : MPharm(Hons) Pharmacy (Year 3)
  • USPA-AKM03 : MPharm(Hons) Pharmacy with integrated pre-registration year (Year 3)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.