UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Molecular and Clinical Aspects of Childhood Cancers

Module Lead: Dr Owen Williams and Dr David Michod

Core for Molecular and Genetic Paediatrics pathway - 15 credits


  • To provide students with knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that drive the development of childhood cancers
  • To describe cell culture and mouse models of the major forms of childhood cancer
  • To give an insight into new drug development and immunotherapy approaches for treating childhood cancers
  • To review established and new approaches for diagnosing and monitoring disease in children with cancer and for treating childhood cancers


This course will provide an overview of the molecular mechanisms that underlie the development and maintenance of childhood cancers. It will also outline how information about the basic biology of childhood cancers is being used to develop better diagnostic tests, to monitor disease progression, to stratify patients for treatment with existing therapies, and to develop new molecularly targeted therapies.

The following areas will be covered:

  • Neuroblastoma
  • CNS tumours: gliomas, medulloblastomas, craniopharyngioma
  • Renal cancers: Wilms tumour
  • Leukaemias
  • Genome-wide transcriptome analysis and bioinformatics
  • Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) and leukaemia
  • Molecularly targeted therapies
  • Immunotherapy approaches

Method of assessment

4 short answer questions (500 words max per question)