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With reference to signalling pathways, discuss the pathogenesis of HER2-positive breast cancer. In your answer, include discussion on the differential diagnosis of this condition

Assessment Instructions (student):

Main Assignment task

A 45 year-old woman complaining of breast pain was diagnosed with having HER2-positive breast cancer. The patient underwent lumpectomy followed by a period of chemotherapy including adjuvant treatment. Over the course of their treatment, the patient developed a urinary tract infection that required antimicrobial therapy, which initially consisted of a trimethoprim/sulfametoxazole combination drug. However, the patient during the course of her therapy suffered multiple recurrent infections and was, consequently, enrolled in a clinical trial to test the efficacy of a new mannoside anti-infective agent.

To explore the molecular basis of pathology and treatment in this patient please construct an essay that addresses the following:

A. With reference to signalling pathways, discuss the pathogenesis of HER2-positive breast cancer. In your answer, include discussion on the differential diagnosis of this condition (30 Marks).

B. Discuss the mechanisms underpinning current therapeutic strategies for treating HER2-positive breast cancer. In your discussion, you should include details about managing therapeutic resistance and adverse side effects such as cardiotoxicity (30 Marks).

C. Discuss the roles of the three components of the patient’s treatment for her relapsing UPEC infection. Your discussion should include the pertinent virulence factors that contribute to the establishment of the infection and the initial treatment failure (20 Marks).

Marks are allocated for your use of diagrams, correct use of grammar/spelling and evidence of significant reading outside of lecture material including current research literature (20 Marks).

Word limits and penalties

Word Limit Guidance: For assessments where a word limit is indicated, a student’s ability to write within the word limit is part of the assessment concerned. Where a word limit is indicated students should provide a final word count by highlighting all text included in the main body of the assessment (the main body of the assessment does not include the reference list) and simply stating that word count.

The main body of the assessment includes:

-the title (if applicable)

-an abstract (if applicable)                                 -the main body of text (including any sub-titles)

-in text citations e.g. (Smith, 2018)                     -direct quotations, case studies etc.

-tables, figures (including any table/ figure titles), illustrations and footnotes

Marking Penalties for word limit deviations:

  1. Under the word count: No Penalty. In not making use of the full word count, students may have self-penalised their work eg. key points may have not been covered (in adequate detail) etc. If students have been able to achieve the requirements of the assessment using fewer words than allocated, they will not be penalised.
  2. Up to 10% over the word limit: No Penalty. Situation flagged by tutor in feedback but over-run is tolerated and no deduction is made from the final mark.
  3. More than 10% over the word limit: The marker will stop reading when they judge that the word count exceeds the indicative word limit by more than 10% i.e. for a 2000 word essay, the marker will read the first 2200 words and will indicate on the text where they stop reading. The content following this point will not be read and a mark will be awarded only for the content up to the indicated point.

Referencing Guidance.

Referencing is a key aspect of the academic assessment process, as it allows students to:

  • acknowledge the contribution that other authors have made to the development of their work (and therefore help avoid plagiarism)
  • evidence students independent research and depth and breadth of reading ie. student ‘scholarship‘
  • demonstrate understanding of concepts proposed by other writers while developing their own ideas
  • inform their readers of the sources of theories, datasets, quotes etc. that have been referred to, and enable readers to find the sources quickly and easily themselves.

Students should always make in text citations to relevant sources of information in the main body of an assessment and provide a list of references at the end of the assessment.

As well as helping to avoid plagiarism, there are often marking criteria relating to [i] relevance of references [ii] use of references in the text and [iii] use of a specified referencing style

[i] the most relevant sources of information should be sought and used eg. avoid non peer reviewed sources (most web pages) and/ or dated information

[ii] citations to sources should be made at the appropriate points in the text and an end reference list included

[iii] If a specific referencing style is specified in the assessment brief, then students should use the style specified and use it consistently throughout the assessment. If a specific referencing style is not specified in the assessment brief, then students should use any standard style consistently.

Extensive support and guidance on referencing and plagiarism is provided via the University library in addition to support in modules.

Useful reference texts include:

IT issues and extended deadlines: `The printer broke last night; my laptop broke/ crashed/ got corrupted by a virus’ etc. are not accepted by the University as valid reasons for extensions to deadlines [this is an UNIVERSITY- wide policy] .

Students must retain an electronic copy of this assignment (including ALL appendices) and it must be made available within 24hours of them requesting it be submitted.

Academic Misconduct

The Assessment Regulations for Taught Awards (ARTA) contain the Regulations and procedures applying to cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct.                  

The full policy is available at here

You are reminded that plagiarism, collusion and other forms of academic misconduct as referred to in the Academic Misconduct procedure of the assessment regulations are taken very seriously. Assignments in which evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct is found may receive a mark of zero.


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