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Epigenetics and Cancer I

Code: MMOM13_11     Acronym: MMOM13_11

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Medical and Molecular Oncology

Instance: 2021/2022 - SP (of 13-09-2021 to 15-07-2022) Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Departamento de Patologia
Course/CS Responsible: Molecular Medicine and Oncology

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MMOM 12 Plano Oficial do ano letivo 2018 1 - 3 21 81

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Carmen de Lurdes Fonseca Jerónimo

Teaching - Hours

Seminar: 0,64
Others: 0,11
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Seminar Totals 1 0,642
Carmen de Lurdes Fonseca Jerónimo 0,642
Others Totals 1 0,107
Carmen de Lurdes Fonseca Jerónimo 0,107

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


  1. Recognize the major types of epigenetic mechanisms and their implications for regulation of gene expression;

  2. Understand the complexity of interactions between various epigenetic mechanisms;

  3. Identify key genes and enzymes involved in epigenetic regulation;

  4. Enumerate and characterize the main epigenetic alterations involved in neoplastic transformation and progression;

  5. Recognize the reciprocal interactions between genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in tumorigenesis;

  6. Identify the major therapeutic strategies based on the reversibility of epigenetic changes,

  7. Comprehend the potential of molecular epigenetic alterations as biomarkers for tumor detection, assessment of prognosis and prediction of response to therapy.

Learning outcomes and competences


  1. Critically examine the published literature in the area of Cancer Epigenetics;
  2. Recognize opportunities for innovation and development applied to oncology based on epigenetic mechanisms;
  3. Incorporate the knowledge of the Cancer Epigenetics in the interpretation of biological and clinical behavior of tumors.



  1. Recognizing Cancer as an epigenetic disease as well, not just genetics;
  2. Understanding the need to clarify the contribution of epigenetic modification of the various mechanisms in the process of tumorigenesis;
  3. Epigenetics as a face in the areas of research in oncology, in many respects;
  4. Contextualize the knowledge acquired in medical practice and new therapeutic approaches.


Working method


Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)

Not applicable


  • Epigenetic mechanisms and their contribution to gene expression regulation.

  • Main epigenetic alterations involved in tumorigenesis.

  • The role of DNA methylation in the regulation of transcription of genes involved in the neoplastic process (hypo and hypermethylation).

  • Role of RNA methylation in the neoplastic process.

  • Proteins regulating DNA methylation and its role in changing patterns.

  • Effect of exogenous factors on the establishment of DNA methylation.

  • Changes in chromatin organization in cancer cells.

  • Histone post-translational modifications underlying the silencing of genes implicated in the neoplastic process.

  • Chromatin remodeling machinery and enzymes

  • Dysregulation of cancer in non-coding RNAs.

  • Changes in epigenetic tumor cells starting: "The model of stem cell epigenetics in cancer."

  • Epigenetic Changes in most frequent human cancers.

  • Epigenetic markers in the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer, aberrant methylation of the promoter region of genes (methylome) and analysis of histone modification, analysis methods, potential clinical application.

Mandatory literature

Several; Epigenomics, Anne C. Ferguson-Smith, John M. Greally, Rob A. Martienssen , 2009. ISBN: 1402091869
Several; Epigenetic Biomarkers and Diagnosis, José Luis García-Giménez, 2015. ISBN: 3336055
Mukesh Verma; Cancer Epigenetics: Risk Assessment, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis, Mukesh Verma, 2015. ISBN: 1064-3745

Comments from the literature

Review articles selected reference journals, New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Reviews in Cancer, Cancer Research, etc..

Original articles published in the month of completion of the module, for review and discussion.

Teaching methods and learning activities

Theoretical sessions in the classroom and seminars.


Plataforma de E-learning da Universidade do Porto


Natural sciences > Biological sciences
Health sciences > Medical sciences

Evaluation Type

Evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 10,00
Teste 90,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 46,50
Frequência das aulas 19,00
Total: 65,50

Eligibility for exams

Final exam composed by 30 multiple choice questions and two short-answer thematic questions (to be choosen between four proposals). 

Calculation formula of final grade

Students are approved if their exam classification is equal or exceeds 9.45 / 20.

Examinations or Special Assignments

Not applicable.

Internship work/project

Not applicable.

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

To be established by the Pedagogical Council.


Classification improvement

Classification obtained in the examination of resource.

Improving classification will be held on the dates set by the Pedagogical Council.




  • Coordinator:

Carmen Jerónimo, PhD, Invited Associate Professor with Aggregation ICBAS, Assistant Researcher and Scientific Coordinator of the Cancer Biology & Epigenetics Research Group of Cancer Research Center of Port IPO


  • Other Teachers:

- Margareta Correia, PhD; Assistant Researcher of Cancer Biology & Epigenetics Research Group of the Research Center of IPO-Porto

- Vera Miranda-Gonçalves, PhD; junior researcher of Cancer Biology & Epigenetics Research Group of the Research Center of IPO-Porto

- Members of the Cancer Biology & Epigenetics Research Group of Research Center of IPO-Porto

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