Hallmarks and Signaling of Cancer Cells (Online CE Course)

(based on 261 customer ratings)

Author: Nancy Liu-Sullivan, PhD
Reviewers: Ralph Garippa, PhD and Kevin F. Foley, PhD, DABCC, MT, SC

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In the year 2000, Dr. Douglas Hanahan and Dr. Robert Weinberg depicted six hallmarks of cancer. Over the span of the next decade, drawing upon new discoveries and additional insight, they also delineated four additional cancer hallmarks. This course reviews how normal cells grow and cease to grow. It also describes the ten hallmarks of cancer with special attention to how cancer cells defy regulatory signals. Oncogenes are distinguished from tumor suppressor genes in this course.

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Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 1.5 hour(s)
Approved through 8/31/2023
Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - General (Molecular Pathology): 1.5 hour(s)
Approved through 8/31/2023


  • Describe how normal cells grow and cease to grow.
  • Recognize the hallmarks of cancer with special attention to how cancer cells defy regulatory signals.
  • Distinguish oncogenes from tumor suppressor genes.
  • Explain the tumor microenvironment through glioblastoma (GBM).
  • List the opportunities and challenges in drug re-purposing and cancer drug discovery.

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(based on 261 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Topic 1: How do normal cells grow & halt growth?
      • The Cell Cycle
      • Cell Cycle Progression and Checkpoints
      • Additional Cell Cycle Checkpoints
      • The EGF/Ras Signaling: A Key Cell Growth Pathway
      • At the end of a successful Synthesis (S) phase, the cell's chromosomes are ______.
      • To initiate the Gap 1 (G1) phase of the cell cycle, _______ are required.
      • The cellular checkpoint that blocks the transition from G1 to S is called ______.
      • Oncogenes are defined as genes capable of transforming healthy cells to cancerous cells. Please identify oncogene(s) from the following choices:
  • Topic 2: Cancer hallmarks (I)
      • Cancer Hallmarks: An Overview
      • Cancer Hallmark #1: Unstoppable Cell Growth
      • Cancer Hallmark #2: Defying Growth Suppression
      • Cancer Hallmark #3: Resisting Apoptosis
      • Afatinib, Erlotinib, and Gifitinib are small molecule inhibitors that target non-small cell lung cancer positive for the _______ mutation.
      • ______ is a complex molecule in that it is anti­-proliferative in healthy cells; by contrast, in cancer cells especially late-stage cancer, it pr...
      • Features that characterize apoptosis include ___________.
  • Topic 3: Cancer hallmarks (II)
      • Cancer Hallmark #4. Unlimited Replication Potential
      • Cancer Hallmark #5: Generating New Blood Vessels
      • Cancer Hallmark #6: Migration and Invasion
      • Cancer cells enable themselves with unlimited growth potential by activating a protein called _______ to extend the life span of telomeres.
      • The cell division process usually slows down after approximately _____ rounds of divisions.
      • Cancer cells migrate to adjacent healthy tissues and distal organs via _____.
  • Topic 4: Cancer Hallmarks (III)
      • Cancer Hallmark #7: Metabolism Going Haywire
      • Cancer Hallmark #8: Escaping Immune Surveillance
      • Cancer Hallmark #9: Promoting Inflammation
      • Cancer Hallmark #10: Unstable Genome
      • Opdivo and Keytruda are two FDA-approved drugs that enable activation of _______ by blocking PD-1.
      • Each molecule of glucose can be converted to generate ______ molecules of ATP as cellular fuel.
      • _______ are capable of engulfing and ingesting unwanted cells such as infected cells or cancer cells.
      • Normal cells generate _____ molecules of ATP by breaking down one glucose molecule; by stark contrast, cancer cells only make _____ molecules of ATP b...
  • Topic 5: A closer look at cancer through glioblastoma (GBM)
      • Tumorigenesis Stages
      • TGFβ signaling in glioblastoma
      • Tumor Microenvironment
      • There are multiple cell types in the tumor microenvironment. These include:
      • Tumor development follows a progressive process described as:
  • Topic 6: Treatment strategies - An approach of drug re-purposing
      • Drug Repurposing - Old Drugs, New Tricks
      • Aspirin: An Encouraging Story
      • Drug Screening: 2D Versus 3D?
      • Combination Anti-cancer Therapy: Opportunities and Challenges
      • Orphan drugs refer to:
      • According to the Mayo Clinic study, aspirin at _____ mg per day for two years shows reduction of colorectal cancer incidence by 60%.
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Intermediate
Intended Audience: Medical laboratory scientists, medical laboratory technicians, pathology residents, MLS students, and other health care personnel who have an interest in this subject matter. 
Author information: Nancy Liu-Sullivan, PhD is the academic advisor of the Medical Technology program at the College of Staten Island (CSI), a senior college of the City University of New York. In addition to teaching and being the course leader, Dr. Liu-Sullivan also runs a research laboratory that focuses on identifying drug targets as novel chemotherapeutics for brain cancer using 3-D cell culture system. Before joining the biology faculty at the College of Staten Island, Dr. Liu-Sullivan worked as a senior research scientist at MSKCC, with more than a decade of cancer research expertise.
Reviewer information: Ralph Garippa, PhD, is Director of Gene Editing and RNAi Core Facility at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, with more than two decades of drug discovery expertise and leadership. He is the former Head of Cell-Based High Throughput Screening and Microscopic Imaging-based High Content Screening at Hoffmann-La Roche’s Nutley NJ facility. His previous academic partners included Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. Dr. Garippa holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Columbia University and a B.A. degree in Biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Reviewer information: Kevin F. Foley, PhD, DABCC, MT, is the director of clinical pathology for the Kaiser Permanente Northwest region. He also teaches clinical chemistry at Oregon Health Sciences University. Dr. Foley earned his PhD in clinical pharmacology and toxicology at East Carolina School of Medicine in North Carolina. He received a PhD in clinical pharmacology and toxicology from Brody School of Medicine, Greenville, NC. He has been working in laboratory medicine for over 15 years, starting his career as a medical technologist.

How to Subscribe
MLS & MLT Comprehensive CE Package
Includes 147 CE courses, most popular
$95Add to cart
Pick Your Courses
Up to 8 CE hours
$50Add to cart
Individual course$20Add to cart
Need multiple seats for your university or lab? Get a quote
FIGURE 4 keep

FIGURE 6 micro

FIGURE 7 2D vs 3D