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PC4102 - Oncology, Haematology and Toxicology for Pharmacists

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: School of Pharmacy & Molecular Sciences

Available to level 4 Bachelor of Pharmacy students.

In this subject the students will learn the principles behind malignant diseases and their effects on the human body. They will develop an understanding of the principles of local control and the use of drug therapy for systemic dissemination of the cancer. As cytotoxic therapies are not specific for malignant cells, the subject will introduce how such therapy can have major effects on all cells of the patient. The students will learn that any proliferating cell can be affected by this therapy and will develop an understanding of tumour biology and aetiology so that they are able to understand the principles of cancer prevention and treatment. The differences between solid and blood borne malignancies will be discussed, along with their treatment. The students will be taught the chemotherapeutic dosing strategies that must be applied to maximise the outcome of such treatment.The manufacturing principles that are unique to cytotoxic drug preparation and the aspects of its administration will also be discussed.The social aspects of the treatment of malignant diseases will be discussed, so as to expose the student to the effect that these diseases have on the family and community alike. These effects are especially important in small communities.Toxicology, the science of adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms, will be discussed. An understanding of the principles of toxicology and how these can be applied to the determination of toxic or safe vs risk or hazard will be examined. These categories are especially relevant to rural communities where students need to develop an understanding of the differences between acute and chronic exposure to a toxic substance eg herbicides. The outcomes of toxic reactions will be discussed, along with the treatment of such episodes. Students will be taught the treatment of overdose (intentional or unintentional) and develop an understanding of the effects that such poisoning has on the community.

Learning Outcomes

  • ability to manufacture cytotoxic preparations and provide advice as to their safe administration and use;
  • acquire an understanding of the principles behind the development of malignant diseases, including solid and haematological cancers; local control and the use of drug, surgery and radiation therapy for treatment;
  • describe the basis of cancer prevention and early detection of malignant diseases;
  • develop an understanding of the principles behind toxicology; the categorisation of toxic or safe vs risk or hazard; and the treatment of acute or chronic poisoning with a special focus on rural and remote communities;
  • develop an understanding of tumour biology and aetiology.
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 22-Mar-2012
Coordinator: Ms Nerida Firth
Lecturers: Ms Nerida Firth, Professor Beverley Glass, Mrs Sue Carson, <Person not found>.
Workload expectations:
  • 39 hours lectures
  • 12 hours tutorials
  • 12 hours practicals
Assessment: end of semester exam (60%); other exams (15%); assignments (25%).

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.