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News digest – breast cancer ‘blood test’, next steps for plain packs, round melanoma cells and more

by Nick Peel | Analysis

28 June 2014

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  • Big news this week, at long last, was the Government’s announcement on the next step towards bringing in plain standardised packaging for tobacco. The Mail Online and the Guardian covered this and we blogged about what comes next.
  • Our researchers found that a gene, called RUNX1, which has previously been linked to leukaemia may also play a role in ‘triple negative’ breast cancer. The BBC has more.
  • Our scientists working on oesophageal cancer identified a genetic fault that could indicate when a condition affecting the oesophagus – known as Barrett’s oesophagus – has progressed towards becoming oesophageal cancer. Read our press release for more details.
  • A team of our scientists from King’s College London made an interesting finding about how melanoma cells spread around the body. Our press release has more, and we wrote this blog post featuring some striking images from the study.
  • The Guardian covered new research on aspirin and pancreatic cancer. But the study was too small to be making claims that aspirin “may halve the risk of developing pancreatic cancer,” and it’s too early to recommend that the general public takes it to prevent cancer – it has side effects as well as benefits.
  • The Mail Online got a little carried away covering some interesting new research into 3D breast screening to spot cancer. Read our blog post for a thorough look at the findings and what this could mean for screening in the future.
  • Early-stage research working with mice showed that a vaccine engineered to boost the immune system could be used to target brain tumours. The BBC has more.
  • The UK Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC) called on the Scottish NHS to publish data on the performance of lung cancer services in a bid to improve survival rates. We covered this on our news feed.
  • Doctors gathering at the British Medical Association’s annual meeting voted on whether it should be made illegal to sell cigarettes to children born after the year 2000. The Guardian and the BBC have more on this.
  • The Guardian covered news from the US, where the country’s drug regulator said ‘no’ to a new ovarian cancer drug, and asked the makers to provide more data it worked.
  • Following last week’s misleading coverage of carrots as the key to beating cancer, this article from The Conversation took an in depth look at the research.

And finally