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News digest – misleading tobacco ads, new type of bowel cancer, platy fish and more

by Oliver Childs | Analysis

20 April 2013

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Read about cancer news from the past week

  • Lots of tobacco news this week. On Monday we learnt that smokefree legislation has been linked to a drop in emergency hospital admissions from asthma. Here’s our news story.
  • In parliament on Tuesday, the government confirmed that it’s taking a “careful look” at all the evidence coming out of the consultation on standardised packaging on tobacco products (news story). Let’s hope they make the right decision and give children one less reason to start smoking.
  • On Wednesday, we had a timely reminder of tobacco industry tactics. The Advertising Standards Agency ruled that a series of ads from Japan Tobacco International which made claims that cannot be substantiated had breached the UK advertising code. The Guardian has more info, and you can read our view of these tactics here.

  • Our researchers discovered a unique subtype of bowel cancer, which has a worse outcome than other types and is resistant to certain targeted treatments (press release). But what does this mean for the future? Read our blog post to find out.
  • The BBC covered some encouraging new figures about the bowel cancer screening programme is Scotland.
  • We thought this blog post was an interesting take on drug patents and the challenge of encouraging innovation in cancer drug development.
  • Several media outlets covered research about using the PSA test to screen men in their 40s for prostate cancer. The research is interesting, but by itself certainly doesn’t solve how best to use PSA, and the issue of routine screening for prostate cancer remains unresolved. This NHS Choices article has more detail.
  • Cancer patients in the UK can find their illness costs them hundreds of pounds a month – more on the BBC.
  • Will there ever be a single cure for cancer? The Big Issue talked to Cancer Research UK-funded scientist Professor Paul Workman about this big issue and his vision of the future of research.
  • The US National Cancer Institute has launched a project to understand why a minority of people on ‘failed’ clinical trials have tremendous responses to treatments even though most do not. This interesting Nature article has more detail.

And finally

  • US scientists have decoded the genome of the platy fish. What’s this got to do with cancer? The fish are prone to developing melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer in humans. This article has more detail.