First 2011 Unsolved Problems assignment:

Library and web search for cancer treatments:

Work in groups of three; write reports (preferably typed) and it's OK to e-mail the reports to me, or to print them out and give me a printed copy. But if you e-mail them, Please send them as the text of the e-mail, not as attachments; in the past I have had trouble "opening" attachments. Just "cut and paste" text into an e-mail.

Find as many different (serious) treatments for cancer as you can (including proposed treatments and treatments that worked but are no longer used) and list them under the following two different sets of categories:

I) Specific chemicals (e.g. Vinblastine, Cyclophosphamide)

II) Mono-clonal antibodies (e.g. "Rituximab")

III) Other treatments (For example, Coley's stimulation of fevers by deliberate infection with certain bacteria, or injection with bacterial extracts; cartilage extracts; X-rays.)

AND ALSO list every one of these same treatments under the following different sets of categories:

A) Poisons microtubules.

B) Damages all cells of a certain differentiated cell type 1), 2) etc Subcategorize according to which cell type (e.g. B-lymphocytes)

C) Damages DNA and/or chromosomes.

D) Inhibits the effect of some particular oncogene.

E) Inhibits blood vessels from vascularizing tumors.

F) Stimulates the immune system (which then attacks the cancer cells).

G) Stimulates self-destruction (apoptosis, or something else) of cancer cells.

H) Not known how the treatment works.

I) Some other mechanism, not included in this list (& describe this mechanism)

Each group of three students will collaborate, submit a joint report, and receive the same grade as each other, based on their written report AND ALSO based on an oral report that each group will give to the rest of the class (standing up).


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