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News digest – inherited cancer genes, beta-blockers, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and more

by Oliver Childs | Analysis

24 May 2013

1 comment 1 comment

It's time for our weekly news digest
UK newspapers

Read our news digest

Here’s a round-up of this week’s cancer news:

  • A new research programme announced this week will lay the foundations for routine testing for inherited cancer genes in patients with the disease. Read more in our news story and on the BBC.
  • Our researchers discovered that cancer survivors are no more likely to stop smoking, cut down on alcohol, or exercise more often than the general population, according to research published on Wednesday. This press release and the Nursing Times have more detail.
  • US scientists have devised a strategy to block a key cancer molecule called NF-kappaB. We covered the preliminary but promising work on our news feed.
  • Widely used blood pressure drugs called beta-blockers could enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy for the childhood cancer neuroblastoma, according to Australian researchers (press release).
  • Cancer Research UK scientists – led by Nobel-Prize winner Professor Sir Paul Nurse – produced the first map of the genes that coordinate the division and growth of yeast cells. Read our news story to find out what this has to do with cancer.
  • Our new figures showed that non-Hodgkin lymphoma survival has doubled since early 1970s thanks to improved diagnosis and treatment (press release).

The coverage of Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a double mastectomy continued this week, and we spotted three particularly good pieces:

  • This BBC piece about breast cancer risk is well worth reading.
  • The Guardian had a thoughtful article on Ms Jolie’s decision not to have her ovaries removed.
  • And The Atlantic wrote about the looming US Supreme Court decision over BRCA gene patents.
  • Back to cancer research itself, and a small study, reported on Boots WebMD, suggested a link between heartburn and throat cancer but, according to experts we spoke to, the finding wasn’t ‘statistically significant’ and needs confirming. (Long-term, persistent heartburn is, however, linked to oesophageal cancer).
  • Researchers in East Anglia are starting to unravel why high levels of a protein called MMP8 seem to lead to better breast cancer outcomes, according to the BBC. NHS Choices had more detail and added balance to some of the more overblown reporting of this research.
  • The Daily Mail this week asked “are e-cigarettes really as safe as they claim”?
  • Whereas the BBC asked “what kind of NHS can Britain afford?”
  • Happy birthday to our colleagues across the pond – the American Cancer Society, ‘official sponsor of birthdays’, celebrates 100 years itself. The Washington Post has this timeline and slideshow

And finally



  • Ken.
    14 June 2013

    Please see this NHS link about Proton Beam Therapy:


  • Ken.
    14 June 2013

    Please see this NHS link about Proton Beam Therapy: