Fall 2023 - MBB 829 G100

Special Topics in Biochemistry (3)

St-Cancer Immunology

Class Number: 4564

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Oct 6, 2023: Tue, Thu, 8:30–10:20 a.m.

    Oct 11 – Dec 5, 2023: Tue, Thu, 8:30–10:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 11, 2023
    Mon, 12:00–3:00 p.m.



Consideration of recent literature concerning selected contemporary research topics. Can be taken more than once with permission of the instructor.


Special Topic: Cancer Immunology

Course Description:

Recent advances in our knowledge of the immune system are leading to the development of revolutionary cancer treatments that exploit the protective capacities of our own immune defences. Understanding how immune cells interact with tumours, recognize cancer cells, and promote or prevent tumour growth is becoming an essential element of cancer biology. This course will explore the current scientific understanding and latest research in cancer immunology. Building upon these fundamental principles, we will examine various strategies to harness the immune system for therapeutic purposes. By reading, discussing, and presenting current primary literature, students will learn about recent advances in the field and their applications to cancer treatment. 

Topics include:

Fundamentals of cancer immunology

  • The biology of cancer
  • Immune surveillance and responses
  • History of cancer immunology
  • The tumour immune microenvironment
  • Tumor antigens
  • The tumour microbiome
  • Oncomicrobes
  • Immunogenomics

Cancer immunotherapy

  • Patents and intellectual property
  • Haematopoietic stem cell transplant
  • CAR-T and immune effector cell therapies
  • Therapeutic antibodies
  • Checkpoint blockade
  • Cancer vaccines
  • Oncomicrobe vaccines
  • Oncolytic viruses


  • Assignments 40%
  • Exam 1 30%
  • Exam 2 30%


This course is in person only.



Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.