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PHAR30010 Chemotherapeutic Agents Assignment Example UCD Ireland

The module focuses on the mechanistic basis underlying the drug-based treatment of microbial infection and cancer. Topics covered include fundamental aspects of chemotherapy, along with a description of drug action against bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, single-celled protozoa, worms, and fungi. Students also acquire practical skills in the assessment of chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of microbial infection and cancer.

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In this course, there are many types of assignments given to students like individual assignments, group-based assignments, reports, case studies, final year projects, skills demonstrations, learner records, and other solutions are given by us.

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

Assignment Activity 1: Place into context the impact of microbial infection and cancer and treatment thereof in humans

It is widely accepted that microbial affects cancer risk via multiple pathways, including the immune system, metabolic pathways, and more. Indeed, current evidence indicates that various aspects of individual microbial community structures are correlated with changes in human health conditions like obesity or cancers. At the same time, it is clear that microbiota may not only affect oncogenesis but also progression through promoting inflammation at different morphologic stages of tumour development. Emerging data indicate the possible involvement of microbiota in oncogenic signalling both inside microbes themselves or host cells where they co-exist.  The use of therapies that modulate the gut microbiota, including pre-and probiotics, is an exciting new area of cancer prevention and treatment.

Assignment Activity 2: Evaluate central biological differences between infectious microorganisms/cancer cells and the human host, with a view to identifying key targets for therapeutic intervention

It is essential to understand the biology of infectious microorganisms and cancer cells in order to identify key targets for therapeutic intervention. Key differences between these entities and the human host include:

  • Microbial cells have a much faster replication rate than human cells, which allows them to quickly overwhelm the host’s immune system.
  • Cancer cells often have mutated genomes and express proteins that are not found in healthy cells. They also have a faster replication rate than normal cells, allowing them to spread through the body quickly.
  • Bacteria and cancer cells lack and produce enzymes and other proteins which human cells require to function normally, but cannot replace themselves. Cancer cells may also secrete enzymes that help them invade surrounding tissues more effectively.
  • Microbial cells and cancer cells have evolved strategies to evade the human immune system, for example by locating themselves in parts of the body where they are not readily destroyed. Cancer cells may also secrete enzymes that help them invade surrounding tissues more effectively.
  • Bacteria and some types of cancer can survive outside a human host, allowing them to spread easily.
  • Bacteria and cancer cells multiply rapidly, which allows the disease to progress even if some of the microorganisms or cancer cells are destroyed by treatment with antibiotics or anti-cancer agents respectively.

Assignment Activity 3: Describe the fundamental principles of anti-microbial and anti-cancer chemotherapy

Anti-microbial chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria. The main types of anti-microbial chemotherapy are antibiotics, which are used to treat bacterial infections, and antivirals, which are used to treat viral infections.

Anti-cancer chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill or inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The main types of anti-cancer chemotherapy are cytotoxic drugs, which kill or inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and targeted therapies, which target specific sites within the cell.

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Assignment Activity 4: Outline the mechanism of action of individual classes of chemotherapeutic agents

The mechanism of action of individual classes of chemotherapeutic agents varies. However, all anti-microbial and anti-cancer chemotherapy drugs work by disrupting the DNA or RNA of the microorganisms or cancer cells, which prevents them from replicating. Some chemotherapeutic drugs also kill microorganisms or cancer cells by damaging their cell membranes.

  • Antimetabolites: Antimetabolites are drugs that interfere with the normal metabolic pathways of cells. This interferes with the ability of cancer cells to reproduce and grow. Antimetabolites are often used to treat breast, ovarian, cervical, stomach, and colon cancers.
  • Antitumour antibiotics: Antitumour antibiotics are drugs that kill or inhibit the growth of dividing cells. They are generally more toxic than antimetabolites. Antitumour antibiotics are used to treat ovarian cancer.
  • Alkylating agents: Alkylating agents are drugs that interfere with the normal replication of DNA, which is a key process for cell division. Alkylating agents have been used to treat leukaemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma since 1953. They are also used to treat ovarian and some other cancers including prostate and colorectal cancers.
  • Targeted therapies: Targeted therapies are drugs that target specific sites within the cell. They are used to treat a wide range of cancers, including breast, ovarian, colorectal and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
  • Proteasome inhibitors: Proteasome inhibitors are drugs that inhibit the activity of the proteasome, a protein complex that is essential for the normal functioning of cells. Proteasome inhibitors are used to treat multiple myeloma and some types of lung cancer.
  • Angiogenesis inhibitors: Angiogenesis inhibitors are drugs that inhibit the formation of new blood vessels. They are used to treat a range of cancers, including breast, ovarian, pancreatic and colorectal cancers.
  • Inhibit cell division: Antimetabolites, antitumour antibiotics, alkylating agents and targeted therapies all inhibit the ability of cancer cells to divide and grow. This leads to the death of cancer cells.

Assignment Activity 5: Describe problematic issues associated with chemotherapy and ways to circumvent these

Chemotherapy causes severe side effects because it damages healthy cells as well as cancer cells. One of the major problems that arise in the use of chemotherapeutic agents is that their mechanism line action is toxic to all dividing cells, which includes healthy cells as well as cancerous ones. This can cause bone marrow suppression, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, infertility and permanent hair loss.

There are different ways to circumvent these issues associated with chemotherapy. Many patients receive drugs called antiemetics before treatment starts to reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting. Patients can also take medications to protect their bone marrow and stimulate their appetite. Some chemotherapy drugs are given as injections rather than tablets, which reduces the risk of diarrhoea. In some cases, patients may be offered a course of radiotherapy or hormone therapy before starting chemotherapy, to reduce the chance of hair loss.

Assignment Activity 6: Perform practical assessments of chemotherapeutic agents in disease treatment

The effectiveness of chemotherapy agents in the treatment of disease can be assessed in a variety of ways. One way is to measure the response rate, which is the percentage of patients who experience a reduction in the size of their tumour following treatment. Another way is to measure the remission rate, which is the percentage of patients who go into remission (ie. their cancer disappears completely).

Another way to measure the effectiveness of chemotherapy is to look at the toxicity profile of the drug. This measures the amount of damage that the drug does to healthy cells as well as cancer cells. This can be done by looking at the side effects that patients experience when they take the drug.

Finally, the effectiveness of a drug can be assessed by looking at its half-life. The half-life is the time it takes for the concentration of a drug in the bloodstream to drop by 50%. This can vary depending on whether the drug is taken orally or intravenously, and how quickly it dissolves in the fluid.

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