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Cell Biology and Cancer

under a contract from the

National Institutes of Health

in collaboration with the

National Cancer Institute

Center for Curriculum Development

5415 Mark Dabling Boulevard

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

BSCS Development Team

Design and Layout

Joseph D. McInerney, Co-Principal Investigator

Angela Barnes, Finer Points Productions

Lynda B. Micikas, Co-Project Director

BSCS Administrative Staff

April L. Gardner, Visiting Scholar

Timothy H. Goldsmith, Chairman, Board of Directors

Diane Gionfriddo, Research Assistant

Joseph D. McInerney, Director

Joy L. Hainley, Research Assistant

Michael J. Dougherty, Associate Director

Judy L. Rasmussen, Senior Executive Assistant

Janie Mefford Shaklee, Evaluator

Videodiscovery, Inc. Administrative Staff

Lydia E. Walsh, Research Assistant

D. Joseph Clark, President

Videodiscovery, Inc. Development Team

Shaun Taylor, Vice President for Product Development

D. Joseph Clark, Co-Principal Investigator

National Institutes of Health

Shaun Taylor, Co-Project Director

Bruce Fuchs, Office of Science Education

Michael Bade, Multimedia Producer

John Finerty, National Cancer Institute

Dave Christiansen, Animator

Susan Garges, National Cancer Institute

Greg Humes, Assistant Multimedia Producer

William Mowczko, Office of Science Education

Lucy Flynn Zucotti, Photo Researcher

Cherie Nichols, National Cancer Institute

Advisory Committee

Gloria Seelman, Office of Science Education

Ken Andrews, Colorado College,

Field-Test Teachers

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Christina Booth, Woodbine High School,

Kenneth Bingman, Shawnee Mission West High School,

Woodbine, Iowa

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Richard Borinsky, Broomfield High School,

Julian Davies, University of British Columbia,

Broomfield, Colorado

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Patrick Ehrman, A.G. Davis Senior High School,

Lynn B. Jorde, Eccles Institute of Human Genetics,

Yakima, Washington

Salt Lake City, Utah

Elizabeth Hellman, Wheaton High School,

Elmer Kellmann, Parkway Central High School,

Wheaton, Maryland

Chesterfield, Missouri

Jeffrey Sellers, Eastern High School, Washington, DC

Mark A. Rothstein, University of Houston Law Center,

Houston, Texas

Photo Credits

Carl W. Pierce, Consultant, Hermann, Missouri

Figures 1, 7, and 8: Corel Corporation

Kelly A. Weiler, Garfield Heights High School,

Garfield Heights, Ohio

This material is based on work supported by the National

Raymond L. White, Huntsman Cancer Institute,

Institutes of Health under Contract No. 263-97-C-0073.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations

Aimee L. Wonderlick, Northwestern University

expressed in this publication are those of the authors and

Medical School, Chicago, Illinois

do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agency.

Writing Team

Copyright ©1999 by the BSCS and Videodiscovery, Inc.

Mary Ann Cutter, University of Colorado—

All rights reserved. You have the permission of BSCS and

Colorado Springs

Videodiscovery, Inc. to reproduce items in this module

Jenny Sigstedt, Consultant, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

(including the software) for your classroom use. The

Vickie Venne, Huntsman Cancer Institute,

copyright on this module, however, does not cover

Salt Lake City, Utah

reproduction of these items for any other use. For

permissions and other rights under this copyright,

Artists

please contact the BSCS, 5415 Mark Dabling Blvd.,

Dan Anderson

Colorado Springs, CO 80918-3842.

Kevin Andrews

Revised September 2012

Cover Design

NIH Publication No. 10-4646

Karen Cook, NIH Medical Arts and Photography Branch

Cover Illustration

Salvador Bru, Illustrator

Please contact NIH with questions

about this supplement at

Editing

supplements@science.education.nih.gov.

Barbara C. Resch

Contents

Foreword. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v

About the National Institutes of Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vi

About the National Cancer Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

About Biological Sciences Curriculum Study. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viii

Introduction to Cell Biology and Cancer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

What Are the Objectives of the Module? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Why Teach the Module? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

What’s in It for the Teacher? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Implementing the Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

What Are the Goals of the Module? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

What Are the Science Concepts and How Are They Organized?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

How Does the Module Correlate with the National Science Education Standards? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

How Does the BSCS 5E Instructional Model Promote Active, Collaborative, Inquiry-Based Learning? . .6

The BSCS 5E Instructional Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

Engage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Explore/Explain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Elaborate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Evaluate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

What’s the Evidence for the Effectiveness of the BSCS 5E Model? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

How Does the Module Support Ongoing Assessment? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

How Can Controversial Topics Be Handled in the Classroom? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

Using the Student Lessons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Format of the Lessons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Timeline for Teaching the Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Using the Web Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Hardware and Software Requirements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

Getting the Most Out of the Web Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

Collaborative Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

State Standards Alignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Web Materials for People with Disabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Understanding Cancer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Unraveling the Mystery of Cancer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Cancer as a Multistep Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

The Human Face of Cancer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

New Hope for Treating Cancer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

Cancer and Society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

iii

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Additional Resources for Teachers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Student Lessons

Lesson 1—The Faces of Cancer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51

Lesson 2—Cancer and the Cell Cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63

Lesson 3—Cancer as a Multistep Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73

Lesson 4—Evaluating Claims about Cancer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91

Lesson 5—Acting on Information about Cancer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99

Masters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

iv

Foreword

This curriculum supplement, from the National

Model (page 9), cutting-edge science content,

Institutes of Health (NIH) Curriculum

and built-in assessment tools. Activities promote

Supplement Series, brings cutting-edge medical

active and collaborative learning and are inquiry-

science and basic research discoveries from

based to help students develop problem-solving

the laboratories of the NIH into classrooms. As

strategies and critical-thinking skills.

the largest medical research institution in the

United States, NIH plays a vital role in the health

Each of our curriculum supplements comes with

of all Americans and seeks to foster interest in

a complete set of materials for teachers, including

research, science, and medicine-related careers

extensive background and resource information,

for future generations. NIH’s Office of Science

detailed lesson plans, masters for student worksheets,

Education (OSE) is dedicated to promoting

and a Web site with videos, interactive activities,

science education and scientific literacy.

updates, and corrections (as needed). The

supplements are distributed at no cost to educators

We designed this curriculum supplement to

across the United States upon request. They may

complement existing life science curricula at

be copied for classroom use but may not be sold.

both the state and local levels and to be consistent

with the National Science Education Standards

We welcome your feedback. For a complete

(released by the National Academy of Sciences in

list of curriculum supplements and ordering

1996). It was developed and tested by a team of

information, or to submit feedback, please visit

teachers, scientists, medical experts, and other

http://science.education.nih.gov.

professionals with relevant subject-area expertise

from institutes and medical schools across the

We appreciate the valuable contributions of the

country, representatives from the National

talented staff at Biological Sciences Curriculum

Cancer Institute, and curriculum design

Study (BSCS) and Videodiscovery, Inc. We are

experts from Biological Sciences Curriculum

also grateful to the NIH scientists, advisors, and

Study (BSCS) and Videodiscovery. The authors

all other participating professionals for their work

incorporated real scientific data and actual case

and dedication. Finally, we thank the teachers

studies into classroom activities. A three-year

and students who participated in focus groups

development process included geographically

and field tests to ensure that these materials are

dispersed field tests by teachers and students. For

both engaging and effective.

the 2012 edition, key sections of the supplement

were updated, but the Student Lessons remain

I hope you find our series a valuable addition

basically the same.

to your classroom and wish you a productive

school year.

The structure of this module enables teachers to

facilitate learning and stimulate student interest by

Bruce A. Fuchs, Ph.D.

applying scientific concepts to real-life scenarios.

National Institutes of Health

Design elements include a conceptual flow of

lessons based on the BSCS 5E Instructional

v

About the National Institutes of Health

Founded in 1887, NIH is the federal focal point

research and clinical investigators, as well as the

for health research in the United States. Today,

myriad professionals in the many allied disciplines

NIH is one of the agencies within the Department

who support the research enterprise. These efforts

of Health and Human Services. Its mission is

also help educate people about scientific results so

science in pursuit of fundamental knowledge

that they can make informed decisions about their

about the nature and behavior of living systems

own—and the public’s—health.

and the application of that knowledge to extend

healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and

This curriculum supplement is one such education

disability. NIH works toward meeting the mission

effort. It is a collaboration among the National

by providing leadership, direction, and grant

Cancer Institute, the NIH Office of Science

support to programs designed to improve the

Education, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study,

health of the nation through research.

and Videodiscovery, Inc.

NIH’s education programs contribute to ensuring

For more about NIH, visit http://www.nih.gov.

the continued supply of well-trained basic

vi

About the National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), a component

• conducting research in its own laboratories

of the NIH, is the federal government’s principal

and clinics;

agency for cancer research and training. The NCI

• supporting education and training in all

coordinates the National Cancer Program, which

areas of cancer research through training

conducts and supports research, training, health

grants, fellowships, and “career awards”

information dissemination, and other programs

for long-time researchers;

with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention

• supporting a national network of Cancer

and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from

Centers, which are hubs of cutting-edge

cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients

research, high quality cancer care, and

and the families of cancer patients.

outreach and education for both healthcare

professionals and the general public;

The NCI was established under the National

• collaborating with voluntary organizations and

Cancer Act of 1937. The National Cancer Act of

other national and foreign institutions engaged

1971 broadened the scope and responsibilities

in cancer research and training activities;

of the NCI and created the National Cancer

• collaborating with partners in industry in a

Program. Over the years, the NCI’s mandate has

number of areas, including the development

come to include dissemination of current cancer

of technologies that are revolutionizing

information and assessment of the incorporation

cancer research; and

of state-of-the-art cancer treatments into clinical

• collecting and disseminating information

practice. Today, the NCI’s activities include

about cancer.

• supporting and coordinating research projects

conducted by universities, hospitals, research

For more information about the National Cancer

foundations, and businesses throughout this

Institute, visit its Web site at http://www.cancer.gov.

country and abroad through research grants

and cooperative agreements;

vii

About Biological Sciences

Curriculum Study

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado,

The BSCS mission is to transform science teaching

BSCS was founded in 1958 as a curriculum study

and learning through research and development

committed to an evidence- and inquiry-based

that strengthens learning environments and

approach to science education. BSCS instructional

inspires a global community of scientifically

materials and professional development services

literate citizens. BSCS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit

are based on current research about teaching and

organization. For more information, please visit

learning for all science classrooms, kindergarten

http://www.bscs.org.

through college.

BSCS’s materials are extensively field-tested

in diverse settings across the country and

evaluated for proven effectiveness. The BSCS 5E

Instructional Model and inquiry are hallmarks

of its materials, placing students at the center of

their learning.

viii

Introduction to

Cell Biology and Cancer

“Tumors destroy man in a unique and appalling

type of tumor (bone, cartilage, blood vessel) when

way, as flesh of his own flesh which has somehow

injected into healthy animals.

been rendered proliferative, rampant, predatory,

and ungovernable. . . . Yet, despite more than

Unfortunately, the full significance of these data

70 years of experimental study, they remain the

was not to be realized for many decades. One

least understood. . . . What can be the why for

reason was the difficulty of reproducing these

these happenings?”

results in mammals. But another reason was that

scientists could not place Rous’ discovery in a

—Peyton Rous, in his acceptance lecture for the

proper context. So many different things seemed

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1966)

to be associated with cancer that no one was able

to make sense of it all. For example,

Late in 1910, a young scientist at Rockefeller

• In 1700, the Italian physician Bernardino

University was preparing to conduct a most

Ramazzini wrote about the high rate of breast

improbable experiment. He wanted to know whether

cancer among nuns and speculated that it was

one chicken could “catch” cancer from another.

related to their celibacy and childlessness. This

At that time, the concept that every cell in the

was the first indication that how one lived

body is derived from another cell was new, and

might affect the development of cancer.

the idea that cancer might involve a disruption

• In 1775, Percivall Pott, a London physician,

of normal cell growth was just taking hold.

suggested that the very high rate of scrotal

and nasal cancers among chimney sweeps was

Thirty years had passed since Louis Pasteur’s

a result of their exposure to soot. This was

influential paper on germ theory dislodged the

the first indication that exposure to certain

humoral theory of disease that had prevailed

chemicals in the environment could be an

for more than 2,000 years, and the prevailing

important factor in cancer.

scientific view of cancer emphasized the role of

• In 1886, Hilario de Gouvea, a professor at

chemical and physical agents, not infectious ones,

the Medical School in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,

as potential causes.

reported the case of a family with an increased

susceptibility to retinoblastoma, a form of

Nevertheless, the 30-year-old Peyton Rous was able

cancer that normally occurs in only 1 out of

to show that cell-free extracts from one chicken

about 20,000 children. This suggested that

were able to cause the formation of the same type

certain cancers have a hereditary basis.

of tumor when injected into a second chicken.

• The discovery of X-rays in 1895 led to their

Rous’ tumor extracts had been passed through

association with the skin cancer on the hand

a filter with pores so small that even bacteria

of a lab technician by 1902. Within a decade,

were excluded. This result strongly implicated

many more physicians and scientists, unaware

the newly discovered “filterable agents” known

of the dangers of radiation, developed a variety

as viruses. Rous was later able to demonstrate

of cancers.

that other types of chicken tumors could also be

• In 1907, an epidemiological study found that

spread by their own, unique “filterable agents,”

the meat-eating people from Germany, Ireland,

and that each would faithfully produce its original

and Scandinavia living in Chicago had higher

1

index-10_1.jpg

Cell Biology and Cancer

rates of cancer than did their Italian and

Figure 1. For people touched by cancer in any body

Chinese neighbors, who ate considerably

system, modern science offers better treatment and

less meat.

brighter prospects than ever before.

At the time Peyton Rous accepted his Nobel

Prize, it was not clear how these, and many other

observations, would ever be reconciled. By the

early 1970s, however, scientists armed with the

new tools of molecular biology were about to

revolutionize our understanding of cancer. In

fact, just over three decades later, Rous would

be astounded to learn of the progress made in

answering his question of “why?”

What Are the Objectives of the Module?

Cell Biology and Cancer has two objectives. The

first is to introduce students to major concepts

related to the development and impact of cancer.

show significant declines in death rates for

Today, we have a picture of cancer that, while

colorectal, lung, prostate, and female breast cancer.

still incomplete, is remarkably coherent and

precise. Cancer develops when mutations occur

Cancer incidence rates show a more varied

in genes that normally operate to control the

picture: the overall trend for 1999 to 2008 was

cell’s life cycle of growth, proliferation, and

steady. The major cancers (colorectal, male lung,

death. These mutations prompt the cell to divide

and prostate cancer) showed significant declines

inappropriately. Cancer-causing mutations can be

during this period, while female lung cancer rates

induced by a wide variety of environmental agents

decreased between 2004 and 2008 and female

and even several known viruses. Such mutations

breast cancer rates declined between 1999 and

can also be inherited—thus the observation that

2004 but were stable between 2004 and 2008.

some families have a higher risk for developing

cancer than others. We still have much to learn

It is notable that the combined cancer incidence

about cancer, to be sure. However, the clarity

rates for both sexes had very different trends.

and detail of our understanding today speak

For men the rate decreased steadily from 1994 to

powerfully of the enormous gains scientists have

2008. For women the rate declined between 1998

made since the War on Cancer was launched in

and 2006 but remained stable from 2006 to 2008.

1971. We hope this module will help students

Recently, incidence rates have actually increased

catch a bit of the excitement of these gains.

for several cancers, including pancreas and

kidney, which are associated with excess weight.

A second objective is to convey to students the

relationship between basic biomedical research

Death rates from all cancers combined have

and the improvement of personal and public

decreased significantly in men and women; from

health. Cancer-related research has yielded

2004 through 2008, cancer death rates declined

many benefits for humankind. Most directly,

about 1.6 percent per year. These decreases, which

it has guided the development of public health

began in the early 1990s, are driven by declines

policies and medical interventions that today are

in the three most common cancers in men (lung,

helping us prevent, treat, and even cure cancer.

colorectal, and prostate), and declines in the three

As illustrations of the progress created by cancer

leading cancers in women (lung, breast, and

research, note that cancer mortality decreased at

colorectal). Prostate and breast cancers are the

a rate of 1.4 percent per year from 1999 to 2008.

most frequently diagnosed cancers in the United

For the major cancers, the most recent trends

States, but lung cancer accounts for the largest

number of cancer deaths.

2

Research is also pointing the way to new

Cancer research has yielded other benefits as

therapies that scientists hope will combat the

well. In particular, it has vastly improved our

disease without as many of the devastating side

understanding of many of the body’s most critical

effects of current treatments. For example, much

cellular and molecular processes. The need to

of the current drug development to prevent or

understand cancer has spurred research into

fight cancer focuses on targeting specific genes,

the normal cell cycle (the sequence of events

pro teins, and pathways unique to or altered in

by which cells enlarge and divide), mutation,

cancer cells. Although many of these types of

DNA repair, growth factors, cell signaling, and

drugs are still in various stages of testing and

cell aging and death. Research has also led to

development, several are already approved for use,

an improved understanding of cell adhesion

and enthusiasm about the prospects of controlling

and anchorage (the “address” system that keeps

cancer at the molecular level continues. Gleevec®,

normal cells from establishing themselves in

for example, is a small-molecule drug approved

inappropriate parts of the body), angiogenesis (the

by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

formation of blood vessels), and the role of the

to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumor (a rare

immune system in protecting the body from harm

cancer of the gastrointestinal tract) and certain

caused by abnormal cells as well as from invading

kinds of chronic myeloid leukemia. Gleevec®

microbes and viruses.

is also approved for certain kinds of acute

lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic eosinophilic

This module addresses our progress in

leukemia, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans,

understanding the cellular and molecular bases of

myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative disorders, and

cancer and considers the impact of what we have

systemic mastocytosis. It is also being studied in

learned for individuals and society. We could have

the treatment of other types of cancer.

addressed many concepts, but with the help of

a wide variety of experts in this field, we chose

An enormous amount of progress is also being

these for your students to explore:

made in the field of cancer vaccines, which stimulate

• Cancer is a group of more than 100 diseases

the immune system to kill existing cancer cells

that develop across time. It can occur in

or to recognize and attack pathogens before they

virtually any of the body’s tissues, and

can cause disease. Cancer vaccines, which are

both hereditary and environmental factors

still largely experimental, are either preventive—

contribute to its development.

intended to prevent cancer from developing in

• The growth and differentiation of cells in

healthy people—or therapeutic—intended to

the body are normally precisely regulated;

treat existing cancers by strengthening the body’s

this regulation is fundamental to the orderly

natural defenses against the disease. The FDA has

process of development that we observe across

already approved two cancer preventive vaccines.

the life spans of multicellular organisms.

The first is a vaccine against the hepatitis B virus

Cancer develops due to the loss of growth

(HBV). Chronic HBV infections can lead to liver

control in cells. Loss of control can occur as a

cancer. The second vaccine, which is known

result of mutations in genes that are involved in

as Gardasil®, is highly effective in preventing

cell-cycle control.

infections by two types of human papilloma

• No single event is enough to turn a cell into

virus (HPV) that cause most (70 percent of)

a cancerous cell. Instead, it seems that the

cervical cancers in the United States and Western

accumulation of damage to a number of genes

Europe. Cervarix is also approved to prevent

(“multiple hits”) across time leads to cancer.

infections with the two types of HPV that cause

• Scientists use systematic and rigorous criteria

most cervical cancers and some oropharyngeal

to evaluate claims about factors that may

cancers. The FDA has also approved sipuleucel-T

contribute to cancer development. Consumers

(Provenge®) for the treatment of some men with

can evaluate such claims by applying

metastatic prostate cancer.

criteria related to the source, certainty, and

reasonableness of the supporting information.

3

Introduction to Cell Biology and Cancer

Cell Biology and Cancer

• We can use our understanding of the science of

What’s in It for the Teacher?

cancer to improve personal and public health.

Cell Biology and Cancer meets many of the criteria

Translating our understanding of science into

by which teachers and their programs are assessed.

public policy can raise a variety of issues, such

• The module is standards based and meets

as the degree to which society should govern

science content, teaching, and assessment

the health practices of individuals. Such issues

standards as expressed in the National Science

often involve a tension between the values of

Education Standards. It pays particular attention

preserving personal and public health and

to the standards that describe what students

preserving individual freedom and autonomy.

should know and be able to do with respect to

scientific inquiry.

We hope the module’s five lessons will carry these

• It is an integrated module, drawing most

concepts to your students effectively. Although

heavily from the subjects of science, social

the lessons contain much interesting information

science, mathematics, and health.

about various types of cancer, we suggest that

• It has a Web-based technology component.

you focus your students’ attention on the major

• It includes built-in assessment tools, which are

concepts the module was designed to convey. The

noted in each lesson with an assessment icon.

concluding steps in each lesson are intended to

remind students of those concepts.

In addition, the module provides a means for

professional development. Teachers can

Why Teach the Module?

engage in new and different teaching practices

High school biology classes offer an ideal setting

like those described in this module without

for integrating many areas of student interest.

completely overhauling their entire program. In

In this module, students participate in activities

Designing Professional Development for Teachers of

that integrate inquiry science, human health,

Science and Mathematics, the authors wrote that

mathematics, and the interweaving of science,

replacement modules such as this one “offer a

technology, and society. The real-life context

window through which teachers get a glimpse of

of the module’s classroom lessons is engaging

what new teaching strategies look like in action”

for students, and the knowledge gained can be

(Loucks-Horsley et al., 1998). By experiencing

applied immediately to students’ lives.

a short-term unit, teachers can “change how

they think about teaching and embrace new

approaches that stimulate students to problem

solve, reason, investigate, and construct their

own meaning for the content.” The use of a

supplemental unit such as this one can encourage

reflection and discussion and stimulate teachers

to improve their practices by focusing on student

learning through inquiry.

4

Implementing the Module

The five lessons in this module are designed to be

• to recognize the role of science in society and

taught either in sequence, as a supplement to your

the relationship between basic science and

standard curriculum, or as individual lessons that

personal and public health.

support or enhance your treatment of specific

concepts in biology. The following pages offer

What Are the Science Concepts and

general suggestions about using these materials in

How Are They Organized?

the classroom; you will find specific suggestions

We have organized the lessons to form a conceptual

in the support material provided for each lesson.

whole that moves students from an introduction

to cancer ( The Faces of Cancer), to an investigation

What Are the Goals of the Module?

of its biological basis ( Cancer and the Cell Cycle

Cell Biology and Cancer is designed to help students

and Cancer as a Multistep Process ), to a discussion

reach the following major goals associated with

of how people evaluate claims about cancer

biological literacy:

( Evaluating Claims About Cancer), and, finally, to

• to understand a set of basic scientific principles

a consideration of how understanding cancer can

related to cancer as a cellular phenomenon,

help people make decisions about issues related to

• to experience the process of inquiry and

personal and public health ( Acting on Information

develop an enhanced understanding of the

About Cancer). Table 1 displays the sequence of

nature and methods of science, and

major concepts addressed by the five lessons.

Table 1. Conceptual flow of the lessons.

Activity

Learning Stage*

Major Concepts

Lesson 1

Engage

Cancer is a group of more than 100 diseases that develop across

The Faces of

time in virtually any of the body’s tissues. Both hereditary and

Cancer

environmental factors contribute to its development.

Lesson 2

Explore/Explain

The growth and differentiation of cells in the body normally

Cancer and the

are precisely regulated; this regulation is fundamental to the

Cell Cycle

orderly process of development that we observe across the life

spans of multicellular organisms. Cancer develops due to the loss

of growth control in cells. Loss of control occurs as a result of

mutations in genes that are involved in cell-cycle control.

Lesson 3

Explore/Explain

No single event is enough to turn a cell into a cancerous cell.

Cancer as a

Instead, it seems that the accumulation of damage to a number

Multistep Process

of genes (“multiple hits”) across time leads to cancer.

Lesson 4

Elaborate

Scientists use systematic and rigorous criteria to evaluate claims

Evaluating Claims

about factors associated with cancer. Consumers can evaluate

About Cancer

such claims by applying criteria related to the source, certainty,

and reasonableness of the supporting information.

Lesson 5

Evaluate

We can use our understanding of the science of cancer