Introduction to the Biology of Cancer, Certificate | Part time online | Coursera | United States
42 days
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The Introduction to the Biology of Cancer course offered by Coursera in partnership with Johns Hopkins University introduces the molecular biology of cancer (oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes) as well as the biologic hallmarks of cancer. 

Visit the official programme website for more information


Key Features

Over 500,000 people in the United States and over 8 million people worldwide are dying every year from cancer. As people live longer, the incidence of cancer is rising worldwide and the disease is expected to strike over 20 million people annually by 2030. This open course is designed for people who would like to develop an understanding of cancer and how it is prevented, diagnosed, and treated.

The Introduction to the Biology of Cancer course offered by Coursera in partnership with Johns Hopkins University also describes the risk factors for the major cancers worldwide, including lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, and stomach cancer. We explain how cancer is staged, the major ways cancer is found by imaging, and how the major cancers are treated.

In addition to the core materials, this course includes two Honors lessons devoted to cancers of the liver and prostate.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the major types of cancer worldwide. (Lecture 1)
  • Describe how genes contribute to the risk and growth of cancer. (Lecture 2)
  • List and describe the ten cellular hallmarks of cancer. (Lecture 3)
  • Define metastasis, and identify the major steps in the metastatic process. (Lecture 4)
  • Describe the role of imaging in the screening, diagnosis, staging, and treatments of cancer. (Lecture 5)
  • Explain how cancer is treated. (Lecture 6)

We hope that this course gives you a basic understanding of cancer biology and treatment. The course is not designed for patients seeking treatment guidance – but it can help you understand how cancer develops and provides a framework for understanding cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Incidence and Etiology of Cancer
  • Genetics of Cancer
  • Ten Cellular Hallmarks of Cancer
  • Metastasis: The Real Killer
  • Imaging in Oncology
  • Treatment

Key information


  • Part-time
    • 42 days

Start dates & application deadlines

You can apply for and start this programme anytime.




  • Self-paced

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any specific GRE, GMAT or GPA grading score requirements for this programme.

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Beginner Level

Tuition Fee

To always see correct tuition fees
  • International

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 0 USD for the full programme during 42 days.
  • National

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 0 USD for the full programme during 42 days.

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Coursera provides financial aid to learners who cannot afford the fee. Apply for it by clicking on the Financial Aid link beneath the "Enroll" button on the left. You’ll be prompted to complete an application and will be notified if you are approved. 

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Introduction to the Biology of Cancer


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