Training Opportunities

Cancer-related training and career development opportunities at UCT cover a broad spectrum of disciplines for individuals at various stages of their careers. Please see the relevant websites/contacts for additional information on these training opportunities.

Short Courses
Short Course in Palliative Oncology
Course Convener: Zainab Mohammed
Contact: naomi.fray@uct.ac.za
Target audience/level: Postgraduate multidisciplinary team members
Course description: Integrated palliative care course within oncology registrar course
Undergraduate Courses
Molecular Medicine
Course Convener: Professor AA Katz
Contact: arieh.katz@uct.ac.za
Target audience/level: Undergraduate MBChB
Course description: The course includes lectures, tutorials and practical work that cover core and advanced topics on the molecular basis of disease. Core topics include DNA, RNA and protein structure, function, and how these are integrated to control normal cellular process such as signalling, proliferation, apoptosis, development and differentiation. Fundamentals of molecular and cellular immunology and molecular genetics are introduced. Advanced topics include stem cells, their biology and application, cancer biology, and infectious agents, infectious diseases and inherited diseases. These topics are presented in a multidisciplinary fashion, integrating principles of genetics and genomics, eukaryotic gene regulation, and cell signalling. Basic bioinformatics of DNA and proteins are introduced. Practical laboratory work covers theoretical and practical aspects of molecular, cellular and biochemical laboratory techniques, with emphasis on recombinant DNA techniques. There is also an introduction to genomic, proteomic and computational approaches to study molecular systems.
UCT course code: IBS3020W
Links to course information: http://www.students.uct.ac.za/students/study/handbooks/current
Radiobiology
Course Convener: Dr AS Hendrikse and Dr AJ Hunter
Contact: andre.hendrikse@uct.ac.za or alistair.hunter@uct.ac.za
Target audience/level: For students in Faculty of Sciences; not offered every year.
Course description: Objective: To be introduced to the basic concepts of radiobiology including its application in radiotherapy.
Course outline:  This course examines the biological effects of ionizing radiation (x-rays, gamma-rays, alpha particles, beta particles and neutrons) on mammalian systems, including radiation-induced cell death, DNA and chromosome damage, mutations and carcinogenesis as well as the mechanisms of radioprotectors and sensitisers. Medical aspects including the radiobiology of radiation therapy of cancer forms a significant part of this course. The radiation pathology of normal tissues and a basic introduction to cancer biology will also be presented. Students who perform well in the course may apply to do the BMedScHons (Radiobiology) once they have completed their undergraduate degrees.
UCT course code: RAY2001W
Links to course information: http://www.students.uct.ac.za/students/study/handbooks/current
 
Honours Courses
BMedSc(Hons) in Radiobiology
Course Convener: Dr Alistair Hunter
Contact: alistair.hunter@uct.ac.za
Target audience/level: Honours
Course description: Admission requirements:BSc degree in the biological sciences. The RAY2001W course is a strong recommendation. At the discretion of the course convenors, those with a BSc in radiation sciences may be considered if their degrees have a strong biological component. HEQF credits: 120
Programme outline:The programme aims to introduce students to an academic or research career in biological aspects of oncology with emphasis on radiation biology and radiotherapy. The course prepares students for further post-graduate studies in relevant areas of the biomedical sciences as well as professional service careers in radiobiology.
The programme consists of a series of 2-3 week modules over one year covering core aspects of Radiobiology and scientific aspects of Oncology. Students will also be required to conduct a research project and literature review. During the year, students will be expected to participate in departmental meetings including seminars and journal clubs.
Modules:
  • Cellular Radiobiology
  • Normal Tissue Radiobiology
  • Radiobiological Modelling
  • Radiosensitizers and Protectors
  • Special Radiation Modalities
  • Chemotherapeutic Drugs and Targeted Agents
  • Medical Radiation Physics
  • Cancer Biology
  • Tumour Microenvironment, Metabolism and Functional Imaging
  • Clinical End-points in Oncology
UCT course code: RAY4000W
Links to course information: www.health.uct.ac.za/fhs/departments/radiation_med/radiation_onco/honours
Radiobiology Coursework
Course Convener: Dr AJ Hunter
Contact: alistair.hunter@uct.ac.za
Target audience/level: Postgraduates
Course description: This specialisation aims to introduce students to an academic or research career in biological aspects of oncology with emphasis on radiation biology and radiotherapy. The course prepares students for further postgraduate studies in relevant areas of the biomedical sciences as well as professional service careers in radiobiology. The course consists of a series of two- to three-week modules over one year covering core aspects of radiobiology and scientific aspects of oncology. Modules include: Techniques; General Radiobiology; Cellular Radiobiology; Normal Tissue Radiobiology; Radiobiological Modelling; Radiosensitizers and Protectors; Special Radiation Modalities; Chemotherapeutic Drugs and Targeted Agents; Medical Radiation Physics; Cancer Biology; Tumour Microenvironment, Metabolism and Functional Imaging; and Clinical End-points in Oncology
UCT course code: RAY4021W
Links to course information: http://www.students.uct.ac.za/students/study/handbooks/current
 
Diploma Courses
Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Paediatric Haematology & Oncology
Course Convener: Prof Alan Davidson
Contact: alan.davidson@uct.ac.za  or colleen.rex@westerncape.gov.za
Target audience/level: Postgraduates
Course description: The purpose of this one-year qualification is to train practising doctors to develop foundational skills in treating and managing children with both complex haematologic disorders and malignancy, particularly those from vulnerable populations affected by the neglected diseases of poverty. The Diploma shall be completed over one year full-time. The student is attached to the paediatric haematology-oncology service at the Red Cross Children’s War Memorial Hospital, and will also spend at least a week in the Department of Radiation Oncology and the F4 Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital. Each student will complete a long essay relevant to the application and translation of the knowledge they have acquired to their own practice on returning home. Satisfactory completion of a logbook and satisfactory performance in three formative assessments are DP requirements for the final clinical examination which consists of a case-based oral assessment and the formal evaluation of the long essay. The curriculum outline is as follows:
PED4031W -  Clinical Management of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology (90NQF credits)
PED4032W -  Essay: Transition and Translation Of Knowledge (30 NQF credits)
UCT course code: PED4031W, PED4032W
Links to course information: www.paediatrics.uct.ac.za/paediatric-haematologyoncology
 
Masters Courses
Cancer Prevention and Control MPH Module
Course Convener: Prof Jennifer Moodley
Contact: jennifer.moodley@uct.ac.za
Target audience/level:Masters
Course description: This full-semester module introduces the principles of cancer prevention and control. It covers a broad range of topics including: the global burden of cancer, applied cancer epidemiology, cancer genetics, risk factors, prevention, screening, surveillance and cancer registries, behavioural and lifestyle interventions, challenges in providing cancer treatment, childhood cancer, palliative care, survivorship advocacy and cancer control plans. The module takes an interdisciplinary approach and teaching staff will include clinical, public health and basic science experts. The module is presented annually in the first semester.
UCT course code: PPH7096F
Links to course information: www.publichealth.uct.ac.za/phfm_master-public-health
MPhil In Gynaecological Oncology Part 1
Course Convener: Professor LA Denny and Dr NH Mbatani
Contact: nomonde.mbatani@uct.ac.za
Target audience/level: Postgraduate
Course description:This training programme forms part of the credentialling process of specialist obstetricians/gynaecologists as subspecialists in gynaecological oncology. Candidates follow the relevant curriculum of the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of South Africa and, on successful completion of the relevant Part 1 examination of the College, are granted credit towards OBS7010W. The candidate will gain sufficient knowledge of physiology and pathophysiology to manage patients with gynaecological cancer. On completion of training, he/she should be able to identify, on the basis of direct visual and microscopic evaluation, lesions that are pre-malignant or malignant, and distinguish them from benign disorders, and should know the derivation, biological behaviour, important characteristics and prognostic features of diseases of the female genital tract. The candidate is also trained to identify and manage a wide range of factors relevant to carcinogenesis. Training covers relevant aspects of genetics, tumour immunology and treatment, general pharmacology, diagnostic techniques and imaging, pre- and post-operative preparation, complications during surgery, and a range of surgical procedures and methods of terminal care. The candidate learns epidemiological techniques and how to apply a range of statistical tests. While most of the training time should be spent in the gynaecological oncology training unit, rotations also take place in radiation oncology, medical oncology, colorectal surgery, urology service, plastic and reconstructive surgery, palliative and hospice care, and the surgical intensive care unit. The full curriculum is available in the regulations of the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists at www.collegemedsa.ac.za
UCT course code: OBS7010W
Links to course information: http://www.students.uct.ac.za/students/study/handbooks/current
MMed In Radiation Oncology Part 1
Course Convener: Professor J Parkes
Contact: jeannette.parkes@uct.ac.za
Target audience/level: Postgraduates
Course description:Objective: The purpose of this course is to provide a sound foundation of basic sciences for the subsequent training in clinical oncology. Training for Part 1 covers relevant areas of disciplines such as anatomy, radiobiology and cancer biology and medical physics as applied to the practise of radiotherapy; including the physical basis of treatment with radioactive isotopes; and radiation hazards and protection.
Course outline: This training programme forms part of the credentialling process of general practitioners as specialist radiation oncologists. The Health Professions Council of South Africa stipulates the training requirements, and candidates complete the relevant 4-year curriculum of the College of Radiation Oncologists of SA. Candidates undergo training in an HPCSA-accredited training unit in a teaching hospital linked to the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences. On successful completion of training, they write the final examination of the College and receive credit towards RAY7009W. The purpose of this course is to provide a sound foundation of basic sciences to the subsequent training in clinical radiation medicine. Training covers relevant areas of disciplines such as anatomy and physiology as applied to the practice of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, general and special pathology, radiobiology and medical statistics. Training also covers clinical physics and apparatus construction as applied to the practice of radiotherapy; the physical basis of treatment with radioactive isotopes; and radiation hazards and protection. For the full curriculum and examination details, see the regulations of the College of Radiation Medicine at www.collegemedsa.ac.za.
UCT course code: RAY7009W
Links to course information: http://www.students.uct.ac.za/students/study/handbooks/current
MPhil in Paediatric Oncology
Course Convener: Prof Alan Davidson
Contact: alan.davidson@uct.ac.za  or colleen.rex@westerncape.gov.za
Target audience/level: Masters
Course description:This training programme forms part of the credentialling process of specialist paediatricians to become subspecialists in paediatric oncology. Students follow the relevant curriculum of the College of Paediatricians of South Africa and, on successful completion of the Certificate in Medical Oncology (paediatrics) examination of the College, are granted credit towards PED7011W. Training covers, amongst other things, a range of general principles; e.g. of epidemiology, application of molecular biology in childhood cancer and related illnesses; basic tumour biology; pathology relevant to clinical practice, tumour imaging, principles of staging, the role of chemotherapy and the role of surgery in cancer treatment; the principles of radiation treatment; bone marrow transplantation, stem cell rescue and cord blood transplants; statistical principles, methods of research and conduct of clinical trials; and ethics of cancer treatment and clinical trials. Training embodies a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and management of specific tumour types, and includes supportive care of children with cancer. For the detailed curriculum, see the regulations of the College of Paediatricians at www.collegemedsa.ac.za
UCT course code: PED7011W
Links to course information: www.paediatrics.uct.ac.za/paediatric-haematologyoncology
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