The Department of Oncology offers undergraduate courses in Experimental Oncology, Medical Physics, and Medical Oncology, as well as an undergraduate program in Radiation Therapy.

Every effort is made to keep this list accurate and up-to-date. As course and instructor information may change, always consult current listings in Bear Tracks prior to course registration.

ONCOL 320 - Introduction to Oncology

★ 3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-0) Provides an introduction to oncology with an emphasis on the molecular and cellular biology of cancer. Specific topics include the genetic basis of cancer, the control of cell proliferation, metastasis, tumour immunology, angiogenesis, and cancer therapies. Prerequisite: BIOL 201 or CELL 201 with a minimum grade of C, or consent of the Department.

For registration requests, contact course coordinator Dr. YangXin Fu (yangxin@ualberta.ca)

ONCOL 424 - Nutrition and Metabolism Related to Cancer

★ 3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-0) A lecture and reading course to address nutritional issues specifically related to cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Graduate students may not register for credit (see ONCOL 524). Credit will only be given for one of ONCOL 524, 424 and AFNS 524, 424. Prerequisite: (NUTR 301 and 302) or (NU FS 352 and 6* Biochemistry) or ONCOL 320.

For registration requests, contact course coordinator Dr. Vera Muzurak (vmazurak@ualberta.ca)

ONCOL 425 - Advanced Topics in Cancer Research

★ 3-6 (variable) (second term, 3-0-0) This course provides an in-depth analysis of selected topics in cancer research. The course features four modules, each covering a different area of cancer research. Modules 1 - 4 and Modules 5 - 8 will be offered in alternate years. Each module is comprised of 6 sessions of 80 min each, with each module taught as an independent unit. Modules have both lecture and group discussion components. Students can take both offerings (modules 1 through 4 and modules 5 through 8) up to a maximum of six credits. Prerequisite: CELL 201/BIOL 201 and a 300 level science course in BIOCH, GENET, ONCOL, CELL or consent of the Department.

For registration requests, contact course coordinator Dr. Roseline Godbout (rgodbout@ualberta.ca)

ONCOL 475 - Fundamentals of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences
★ 3 (fi 6) (either term or Spring/Summer, 0-0-3) Practical techniques in the use of radioisotopes in the life sciences. This course focuses on safe handling of radio-isotopes, measurement of radioactivity, performance of radiochemical reactions and the application of radionuclides in life sciences (99mTc-labeling and 18F-labeling). The accompanying seminar provides the necessary background knowledge to engage with the practical challenges of radionuclide handling. Credit cannot be obtained for both ONCOL 475 and 575.
Honors Research Projects
The Department of Oncology currently has no independent program for undergraduates. However, an undergraduate can carry out a 498 or 499 research project co-supervised by an Oncology faculty member, provided the primary supervisor is a faculty member in a University of Alberta undergraduate program (e.g., Biological Sciences). Interested students should contact potential supervisors before registering for the 498 or 499 course.

BSc in Radiation Therapy Program

A Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy (BScRT) degree prepares graduates to make a difference to the lives of cancer patients through the delivery of radiation treatment, patient care and research.

Learn More

The below oncology courses are restricted to Radiation Therapy students only. Course registration requests and program inquiries can be sent to radth@ualberta.ca:

ONCOL 233 - Concepts and Applications in Medical Physics
★ 3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-1) Introduction into fundamental medical physics concepts including theory of atomic and nuclear structure, radioactivity, and electromagnetic and particulate radiation. Topics to be covered include production of medically useful radiation, interaction of radiation with matter, radiation dose, and an introduction to physics concepts used in a radiation oncology environment. Prerequisites: PHYS 124, 126, and MATH 113 or 114, or permission of the department.
ONCOL 234 - Therapeutic and Imaging Equipment in Radiation Therapy
★ 3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-1) Builds on the concepts covered in ONCOL 233, with a shifting emphasis towards production of radiation, its shaping and measurements in the clinical environment as well as introduction to the fundamental concepts in equipment used in radiation therapy. Specific topics include: general principles of X-ray tube, Linac, Cobalt machine, dosimetry instrumentation, principles of diagnostic imaging techniques (including X-ray imaging, CT, MRI, PET and SPECT), innovative radiation treatment methods, treatment simulators; imaging equipment used for radiation therapy verification and general QA procedures for all imaging techniques as well as brachytherapy equipment. Prerequisite: ONCOL 233.
ONCOL 243 - Radiation Protection and Safety
★ 3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-1) Introduction of the fundamental concepts in radiation protection and safety for the patient, self, and general public. Topics include: general principles and practices of working with radiation in a healthcare environment, differences in protection required for different types of radiation, basic radiation shielding considerations and facility design, monitoring and measurement of radiation for protection purposes, and relevant regulatory agencies and associated standards. Prerequisite: Permission of the department.
ONCOL 253 - Cancer Biology
★ 3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-0) An introduction to the biology of cancer highlighting features that distinguish normal cells from cancer cells. Specific topics include the genetic basis of cancer, control of cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis, mechanism of action of cancer drugs and the development of resistance. Prerequisite: CELL 201.
ONCOL 254 - Principles of Oncology
★ 3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-0) A survey course outlining the basic concepts in clinical oncology including epidemiology, cancer screening, cancer staging and pathology, molecular diagnostics, all modalities of treating primary, metastatic and resistant cancers. Definitions for the application of medical terminology will also be addressed. Prerequisite: Permission of the Department.
ONCOL 255 - Introduction to Oncology
★ 3 (fi 6) (Spring/Summer, 30 hours/week - 4 weeks) Principles and concepts of clinical oncology. Prerequisite: ONCOL 254.
ONCOL 306 - Imaging Principles/Pathology
★ 3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-2) A unique course exploring the use of imaging in radiation therapy from a radiologic, radiation oncologic, and radiotherapeutic perspective. Students will gain skills in operating imaging software, identifying normal relational and cross sectional anatomy and pathological conditions using a variety of imaging modalities, and radiographic images, contouring tumor volumes, and will be expected to analyze and critique treatment images to make informed treatment decisions. Prerequisite: ANAT 305 or permission of the department.
ONCOL 309 - Clinical Oncology I
★ 3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-1) The field of radiation oncology is introduced, as well as the evaluation and treatment of tumours with ionizing radiation. Students will begin the study of the various modalities of radiation treatment, and the respective treatment regimens and techniques utilized for the most common tumour sites. Prerequisite: Permission of the Department and ONCOL 255.
ONCOL 310 - Clinical Oncology II
★ 3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-1) The study of the field of radiation oncology is further developed. By the completion of the course, students will have developed an understanding of the various treatment options for each of the tumour sites, and the respective treatment regimes, techniques, schedules, results, and toxicities of treatment with ionizing radiation. Prerequisite: ONCOL 309.
ONCOL 335 - Radiobiology
★ 3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-0) An introduction to the physics, chemistry and biology of radiation effects on cells and tissues. Concepts discussed include the biological factors that influence the response of normal and neoplastic cells to radiation therapy; cell survival curves; linear energy transfer and relative biological effectiveness; effects on tissues of time, dose and fractionation of radiation treatment; and emerging concepts in radiobiology. Prerequisites: ONCOL 253 and 254.
ONCOL 355 - Treatment Planning and Dosimetry I
★ 3 (fi 6) (first term, 3-0-2) The foundation of radiation therapy treatment planning with the principles of radiation dose deposition within the patient, characteristics of radiation beams, and the intricacies of treatment calculations applied in order to develop an appropriate treatment strategy for typical tumor locations. The course covers both low and high energy X-ray, electron and Cobalt60 dose calculations for a variety of treatment techniques. Prerequisite: ONCOL 233, 234.
ONCOL 356 - Treatment Planning and Dosimetry II
★ 3 (fi 6) (second term, 3-0-2) Concepts from ONCOL 355 are explored in more detail. Advanced topics in treatment planning will be covered, including 4 dimensional treatment planning, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, Inverse planning, Arc therapy, and Brachytherapy planning. Prerequisite: ONCOL 355.