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News digest – Genes in Space, global cancer rise, overhead power lines and more

by Nick Peel | Analysis

8 February 2014

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  • Our big news this week was the release of Play to Cure: Genes in Space, our revolutionary smartphone game that mixes intergalactic space flight and cancer research. The BBC and Wired were among the many media outlets from around the world to cover the announcement. For more info and to download the game take a look at our blog post.
  • And for a behind the scenes interview with comedian Dara O’Briain – who helped launch our game – listen to this month’s podcast.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) forecast that global cancer cases could rise by 70 per cent over the next 20 years. A combined focus on prevention as well as treatment will be needed to tackle the global cancer crisis on the horizon – the BBC and the Guardian were among the many media outlets to cover the announcement.
  • Our researchers reported that children who live near overhead power lines in early life do not have a greater risk of developing childhood leukaemia. The BBC has more info.
  • New research showed that reading a patient’s entire DNA sequence could be used to guide more ‘personalised’ treatment in the future. The study focussed on late stage breast cancer and marks an important ‘proof of principle’ for this type of genetic testing. The Independent has more info.
  • A simple home test to screen for bowel cancer could be more effective than the test currently used as part of the UK bowel screening programme. See our news story for more details.
  • The latest Be Clear on Cancer campaign highlights that one in three cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women over 70. The BBC has more info, with the campaign urging older women to stay vigilant in checking for changes in their breasts.
  • Adult patients with some more common types of cancer are being diagnosed more quickly than 10 years ago. See the press release for more details.
  • The Telegraph featured the findings of our IBIS II trial showing that the breast cancer drug anastrozole halves the chance of some women developing breast cancer. For an in depth look at the research, read our blog post.
  • New research suggests that high dose vitamin C injections could reduce side effects from chemotherapy in ovarian cancer patients. This news article from the journal Nature has more info.
  • Three more drugs have been added to the Cancer Drugs Fund – a scheme set up by the Government to provide money for treatments not yet approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) or available on the NHS in England. The Guardian has more details.
  • The European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights launched this week, which looks to guarantee that the quality of care received by patients isn’t determined by where they live or how much they earn. Our news story has more info.
  • This interesting article from the New York Times looks in detail at the achievements and future goals of a global project to establish a catalogue of all the genes linked to cancer.

And finally

  • We enjoyed this article from Stylist magazine featuring one of scientists, Dr Rita Sousa-Nunes, which explores the daily life of a researcher and highlights the importance of our Women of Influence Initiative.