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News digest – pollution, blood in urine, DNA ‘tags’ and more

by Nick Peel | Analysis

19 October 2013

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  • The World Health Organisation announced that air pollution will be classified as an environmental cause of cancer. The BBC had our pick of the coverage, and we explored the evidence on air pollution.
  • New research from our scientists suggests that ‘tagged’ DNA could help in selecting treatment for ovarian cancer. See our press release for the details.
  • Public Health England launched their Be Clear on Cancer ‘blood in pee’ campaign. The BBC and our news story explore the symptoms to help spot kidney cancer early.
  • Professor Dion Morton gave an interesting breakdown of surgical clinical trials for the BBC.
  • The Independent discussed human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and cervical cancer in the developing world.
  • The BBC covered a Teenage Cancer Trust report that reveals one third of teenage cancers are diagnosed in A&E. We’ve written before about the challenge of identifying cancers in children.
  • Countries in the European Union spend over £100 billion a year on cancer. The BBC and our news story have a breakdown of the costs.
  • The Sebastian Coe Charitable Foundation launched this week. The Telegraph covered its goal to raise money for the Francis Crick Institute.
  • There were a few prostate cancer stories this week. Firstly, men with prostate cancer may not be receiving the care they need after treatment. For more info take a look at the press release.
  • And the Daily Mail covered two stories. The first reports that black men are at greater risk of developing prostate cancer than white men over their lifetime.
  • And they also covered the NHS approval of a new prostate cancer drug called enzalutamide.
  • Could the way we define cancer be changing? Our blog post explores how a global research effort is answering this question.
  • And CNET covered some of the latest results from this cross-continental project.
  • This interesting blog post from the Institute of Cancer Research explained how thalidomide may help patients with myeloma.
  • The Conversation gave this interesting take on an evolutionary theory of cancer.
  • Tuesday was Ada Lovelace Day – a celebration of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. The Guardian had details of the day’s events, including a wikipedia edit-a-thon.
  • Episode three of our Cancer Marathon series launched this week. Follow the journey over on our YouTube channel.

And finally

  • Headlines like those in The Express that state ‘cabbages can save lives’ should be taken with a pinch of salt. The researchers worked with a purified chemical found in cruciferous veg using animal models. It’s too early to tell if this will protect people from radiation therapy used to treat cancer.


Images courtesy of Jon s, via Flickr.