Medicine questions

Part 1 – Answer the following 4 questions (worth 10% each):

Please limit to a single page per answer.

Dr. Cox

Explain why DNA repair is a critical tumor suppressor function. Using an example tumor suppressor gene, detail how it impacts a specific DNA repair mechanism. Classify its impact in at least one cancer/cancer syndrome, and present an actual or theoretical therapeutic strategy for treating patients with this syndrome


Dr. Pelech

You are a clinician-scientist that has a patient with colon cancer. Identify four possible oncogenes that are both commonly affected in colon cancer and are actionable for treatment with available drugs either directly or indirectly. Identify two appropriate FDA-approved kinase inhibitor drugs for counteracting the gain of function for each of these four oncogenes. Identify which of the most common cancer-inducing amino acid mutations on these four oncogenes you would initially screen for (3 mutations for each oncogene) in your patient to identify which kinase you will target with a drug that you would first prescribe for your patient. (You may find the,, and websites as well as the lecture notes helpful.)


Dr. Ong

Prostate cancer is exquisitely dependent on androgens for growth and survival.

  1. Describe the endocrine regulation of androgen levels by the hypothalamic pituitary axis.
  2. Describe the androgen/androgen receptor signalling pathway
  3. Name two molecular targets for treatment of prostate cancer and how drugs that target these proteins work to block androgen dependent growth of prostate cancer


Dr. Reid

A patient with renal failure underwent a kidney transplant using an organ obtained from the victim of a car crash. Six months later the patient was diagnosed with a malignant lesion in the donated kidney that the pathologist determined to be of lung origin. Subsequent investigation revealed that the organ donor had been successfully treated with radiation for lung cancer several years earlier.

  1. A) In terms of the prevailing model of cancer immune surveillance, explain the history of the cancer from its origin in the donor to its re-emergence in the transplant recipient. (8 marks)
  2. B) The treating physicians discussed withdrawal of immune suppression as a possible treatment strategy. Explain the potential benefits and downsides of this treatment from an immune perspective. (2 marks)


Part 2 – Answer the following 3 questions from instructors who gave two lectures (worth 20% each): Please limit to two pages per answer


Dr. Mui

What is the difference between the Th1 response and the Th2 response?

  • Explain the mechanism behind these responses.
  • Describe one disease caused by or exacerbated by either a faulty Th1 or Th2 response and suggest potential therapeutics to control the disease


Dr. Rossi

Please describe the compartments of a typical differentiation hierarchy, their characteristics and how their output is controlled. Write about the differences in homeostatic and stress conditions.


Dr. Duronio

The binding of a growth factor to its receptor leads to a series of signalling events culminating in regulation of transcription factors in the nucleus (as one of several potential end points of the pathways). When a cell encounters conditions that cause it to undergo apoptosis, a series of signalling events occurs which eventually leads to activation of caspases.

Summarize the key events in these two pathways – i.e. a) pick one growth factor receptor being activated leading to a transcriptional event and b) describe a pro-death environment activating the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis that activates specific caspases.

Compare and contrast these two different signalling networks by pointing out how protein-protein interactions and post-translational modifications may be playing key regulatory roles.




Sample Solution