Cancer is a tumor that has the ability to invade and metastasize. But there are so many different types of cancer, and researchers use so many techniques to investigate and understand how cancers work. From the lab bench to the bedside and back again, cancer requires a range of scientific approaches and interventions.

How to Use this Video

Find the video below, as well as some of the important science senses it features relating to experimental design, model systems, and human biology.

Have thoughts about the video? What resources or activities have you used to teach this topic in your class? We’d love to know – share your voice by sending us a message below 🙂


Science Senses Featured in this Video

Data sense

Handling data properly

Studying populations

Knowledge sense

Asking scientific questions at several scales

Understanding the nature of science (generating reliable knowledge)

Being an ethical scientist

Acknowledging the intersection of science & society

Using model systems

Designing experiments (controls, blinding, etc.)

Video Pairings

Activities & Lesson Plans

Clinical trials represent a great opportunity to take an in-depth look at what considerations a scientist has when setting up an experiment. Students can compare the kinds of controls needed, they can discuss who is blinded and why, or they can try to design a hypothetical experiment.

This topic is also great for an exploration of pseudoscience. There are many cancer ‘causes’ and ‘treatments’ that rely on no evidence, but are presented as scientific. Have your students go on a pseudoscience hunt and discuss what they find.



OpenStax. 2018. Chapters 15.1 The Genetic Code, 16.1 Regulation of Gene Expression, and 16.7 Cancer and Gene Regulation in OpenStax: Biology, 2nd ed. Access this OER here.

SciShow. 2013. Placebos and Nocebos: How Your Brain Heals and Hurts You. Link to video.

Skloot. 2010. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Broadway Books. 

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