Online Cancer Textbooks & Statistics Information

So many things to blog about, so little time!  I’ve found some good (free) resources for biology teaching.  Firstly there is the “Cancer Biology – Open Educational Resource“.  It is an online module produced in conjunction with the University of Bath, there is all sorts of good stuff there, online tutorials on apoptosis and tumour suppressors.  Self test questions, PowerPoint presentations, ebooks, even a virtual lab based practical on DNA damage!  If you want to learn more about how scientists study cancer then this is a great place to start.  This website led me to the biology section of

Bookboon have several interesting textbooks, I had a look at the “Introduction to Cancer Biology” and “Kinetics for Bioscientist“, both are available online for free. The books aren’t as high quality as you would expect from a publishing house but are a good starting point.  The books contain adverts, but they are no more annoying than what you get in your average magazine or newspaper.

The Open University have also released a “Virtual Laboratory” where you can carry out SDS-PAGE, western blotting, investigating intracellular signalling pathways  and carry out immunoelectron microscopy.  You are going to need a good background in biology (1-2 years of a degree course) before this would make sense to you but it is a very good resource (I know because I’ve used it) and is available on Jorum. Click on “View” on the bottom right to get an overview of the resources and materials.

Another good resource recently released is “Sense about Statistics” produced by the “Sense about Science”  charity, I’ve already recommended one of their other publications, called “What’s the Harm?” in my post on “science and evidence based medicine“  Sense about Statistics was reviewed in the Times last month, arguing that rather than viewing all statistics as lies, we are far better to understand how the numbers work than resort to guess work and voodoo.  I couldn’t agree more.

Finally, if textbooks are your thing, don’t forget Pubmed’s Bookshelf.  There are loads of textbooks here including classics such as Albert’s Molecular Biology of the Cell, Stryer’s Biochemistry, Lodish’s Molecular Cell Biology, Brown’s Genomes and Kaufe’s Cancer Medicine.  Far easier than carrying the books around and much easier to search than flicking through each book in the library.

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2 comments to Online Cancer Textbooks & Statistics Information

  • If textbooks are your thing, then I’d suggest using I use it and have been using it for years now. I’m a college student and never paid for those high prices. No way. searches the entire internet amongst the textbook retailers and rental sites to find you the best deal. I’m actually shocked this site isn’t talked about more than it already is. I suggest for everyone looking to save money but also make some money by selling your books as well.

  • Sarah

    Perhaps because this is an American site and this is a UK blog? Plus the textbooks I linked to are freely available, so using that website isn’t really useful?

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If you like these posts buy the book! The most popular posts from this website are available as a book called

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If you are more impressed with the images than the text “A Photobook of Cancer Research” might interest you.