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PC4102 - Oncology, Haematology and Toxicology for Pharmacists

Credit points: 3
Year: 2019
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Medicine & Dentistry

Available to level 4 Bachelor of Pharmacy students.

In this subject, students develop knowledge of tumour biology and aetiology so as to understand the principles of cancer prevention and treatment. They develop an understanding of the principles of local control and the use of drug therapy for systemic dissemination of cancer. The differences between solid and blood borne malignancies are discussed, along with their treatment. Students are taught chemotherapeutic dosing strategies that are applied to optimise treatment outcomes whilst minimising adverse effects. Manufacturing principles unique to cytotoxic drug preparation and the aspects of its administration are also discussed. Students are introduced to the social and treatment aspects of Palliative Care and symptom control in terminal disease. Finally, the social aspects of the treatment of malignant disease are discussed, in the context of family and wider community impacts. These effects are especially important in small communities. The principles of toxicology, the science of adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms, are discussed. Toxicology is particularly relevant in rural communities, and students develop an understanding of the differences between acute and chronic exposure to a toxic substance. The outcomes of toxic reactions are discussed, along with their treatment. Students are taught the treatment of overdose (intentional or unintentional) and develop an understanding of the effects that such poisoning has on the community. Fundamental aspects of haematology, including erythropoiesis and the pathogenesis and treatment of anaemia are discussed. Students also learn about blood grouping, blood products and the role of the Blood Bank.

Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire an understanding of the principles behind the development of malignant diseases, including solid and haematological cancers; cancer prevention, early detection and the use of drugs, surgery, and/or radiation therapy for the treatment of malignancies;
  • be able to manufacture cytotoxic preparations and provide advice as to their safe administration and use;
  • acquire an understanding of the psychosocial issues relating to palliative care and the various treatments used to support patients and carers in terminal care situations;
  • develop an understanding of the principles behind toxicology; the categorisation of toxic or safe verses risk or hazard; and the treatment of acute or chronic poisoning with a special focus on rural and remote communities;
  • acquire an understanding of the components of the haematological system, their production, and implications if haematopoiesis is interrupted.
Prerequisites: PC3001 AND PC3002 AND (PC3204 OR PC3015) AND CH3100 AND PC3005 AND PC3201 AND (PC3202 OR PC3102) AND (PC3205 OR PC3016)


Townsville, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 28-Mar-2019
Coordinator: Dr Aaron Drovandi
Lecturers: Mr David Herron, Assoc. Professor Ian Heslop, Mrs Gillian Knott, Professor Beverley Glass, Mrs Sue Carson.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 44 hours lectures
  • 2 hours tutorials
  • 17 hours workshops/Seminars
  • assessment and self-directed study
Assessment: end of semester exam (60%); other exams (25%); assignments (15%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.