General information

Module title Tumors and their microenvironment - cellular and histopathological aspects
Language English
Module lecturer Prof. UAM dr Agnieszka Knopik-Skrocka
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Prof. UAM
Faculty Faculty of Biology
Semester 2021/2022 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code BTA2


Module aim (aims)

The main aim of the module is to present actual knowledge about biology of malignant tumors and their microenvironment in cellular and histopathological aspects. With regard to the main aim of the module, additional aims will be implemented:- introduction to scientific terminology used in oncology, tumor cell biology, histology and tumor microenvironment- presentation of epidemiological data of malignant tumors in Poland and in the World (similarities/differences/trends)- introduction to methods used in tumor visualization and in studies on malignant tumors, including these with tumor cell lines in searching new therapies- presentation of actual scientific data about heterogeneity of tumor cells, mechanisms of cross-talk between tumor cells and microenvironment, immunogenicity and immunosuppression of tumors, targets in cancer cells and in microenvironment to find effective anticancer therapies - acquiring skills in recognition of histological and cellular features of different human tumors during work with histological preparations after HE staining and after immunohistochemical reactions (IHC)- acquiring skills in proper interpretation of literature data, discussion them and form of their presentation

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

General knowledge about human`s histology and cell biology


Course content:Scientific terminology in oncology, tumor cell biology, tumor microenvironment and histology Methods used in tumor visualisation and studies, including these with tumor cell lines in searching new therapiesEpidemiological data of human malignant tumors in Poland and in the World (similarities, differences, trends)Heterogeneity of tumor cells (biochemical, morphological features, cancer stem cells, epithelial-mesenchymal transition in metastasis, resistance to apoptosis/anticancer drugs)Communication of tumor cells with their microenvironment (cross-talk via different mechanisms e.g. tunneling membrane nanotubes, exosomes, trogocytosis, intercellular connections)The role of cross-talk in tumor in invasion, migration, metastasis, angiogenesis and immunosupression of tumors ( recruitment of cells, tumor blood vessels formation, mimicry, extravasation/intravasation, organ/tissue specificity of tumor metastasis, sentinel lymph nodesTumor cells and elements of their microenvironment as targets of traditional anticancer therapies and new therapies, including immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors (PD-1, PD-L1, CTLA-4)Triple negative breast cancer as the tumor with very poor prognosis - actual view on the possibilities and obstacles in tumor classification and application of effective therapy Histological/cellular features of human`s tumors in preparations (HE staining/immunohistochemical reactions ( e.g. ER, PR, Her-2, ki67, p53, PSA, AMACR, CD3, CD20, CD34, CD68) and the role of immunohistochemistry in tumor diagnostics/classification/mode of treatmentLearning outcomes (student will be able to):use with understanding scientific terminology in the field of oncology, tumor cell biology, tumor microenvironment and histology mention and characterize methods used in tumor visualisation and studies, including these with cell lines in searching new therapies use with understanding epidemiological data of human malignant tumors in Poland and in the World and indicates similarities, differences, trendsexplain heterogeneity of tumor cells with respect of tumor development, metastasis and resistance to therapydescribe and explain the role of tumor microenvironment in tumor development, metastasis, angiogenesis and immunosuppression indicate and describe targets (in tumor cells and their microenvironment) of traditional anticancer therapies and new therapies, including immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitorsexplain why triple negative breast cancer is one of the tumors with very poor prognosis using actual view on diagnostic/therapeutic limitations and the role of whole genome sequencing and new clinical trials in anticancer strategyrecognise in preparations, interpret histological/cellular features of human`s tumors and explain the contribution of immunohistochemical reactions in tumor diagnostics/classificationindependently select and use literature data, present and discuss them work in group and prepare exercise reports and SCAMPER task

Reading list

Books:1. Domagała et al. : Atlas of histopathology - – the mysterious world of diseased human cells, PZWL, , 20062. Pawlina W.: Histology: a text and atlas: with correlated cell and molecular biology. Wolters Kluwer Health Philadelphia, , , 20163. Bascetta S: Histology of different organs and their histopathology with estimation of microenvironment and vascularization ( Erasmus Project Supervisior dr A. Knopik-Skrocka), , , 20164. Eroschenko V.P. diFiore`s : Atlas of Histology with functional correlations., Lippincott Williams@Wilkins, , 20055. Cormack D. et al.: Essential Histology, Lippincot Williams&Wilkins Philadelphia, Baltimore, , 20016. : The internet pathology Laboratory for Medical education: hhtp://, , , 7. Alberts B. et al.: Molecular Biology of the Cell, Garland Science , Taylor&Francis Group New York, , 20158. : The cancer process, American Institute of Cancer Research, , 2018Articles:1. (): original scientific articles and reviews available at the lecturer, , 2. A. Knopik-Skrocka, P, Kręplewska, D. Jarmołowska-Jurczyszyn (2017): Tumor blood vessels and vasculogenic mimicry – current knowledge and searching for new cellular/molecular targets of anti-angiogenic therapy , Advances in Cell Biology, 3. Knopik-Skrocka A., Śniegowska A (2014): Participation of membrane nanotubes in intercellular communication. , Advances in Cell Biology