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News digest – imaging boost for neuroblastoma, Stoptober, mantis shrimps and more

by Nick Peel | Analysis

4 October 2014

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A mantis shrimp
  • Our scientists showed that combining radiotherapy and immunotherapy treatments could help stop tumours becoming resistant to treatment. Here’s the press release.
  • We announced a new clinical trial looking to test whether a new imaging technique could help choose the best treatment for children with neuroblastoma. Our press release has the details.
  • We’re boosting our investment in our Centre for Drug Development by nearly 50 per cent over the next five years. Read this blog post for details on what the Centre does and how this will help accelerate the development of new treatments.
  • UK researchers found that young women may delay getting potential cervical cancer symptoms checked by their GP. The Guardian has more.
  • 11 million work days are lost each year due to smoking-related sickness, according to figures released alongside the launch of Stoptober.
  • US researchers found that a drug designed to target a precise genetic fault inside cancer cells could be used to treat a rare and aggressive type of womb cancer. Here’s the press release for more details.
  • Could a genetic test be used to help diagnose a condition linked to an increased risk of bowel, womb and ovarian cancers? The BBC explores the issue.
  • Although the Telegraph got a little carried away by referring to a ‘wonder drug’ in this article (this isn’t a drug yet), new research from UK scientists showed that switching off a particular molecule could make cancer treatment more potent. NHS Choices has a more sober analysis.
  • The American Cancer Society’s Dr Len Lichtenfield gave a fascinating US perspective on proton beam therapy in this blog post.
  • This article from Wired explores how raising money online for research – known as crowdsourcing – could be used to boost promising projects that have been abandoned.
  • The Spectator digs into the world of personalising treatments based on a patient’s genetic ‘fingerprint’.
  • This article from Reuters looks at the challenge surrounding the spiralling costs of promising new immunotherapy treatments.
  • The Independent covered a call from the Breast Cancer Campaign for more research looking at how the density of a woman’s breasts could help predict her risk of breast cancer.
  • The American Society of Clinical Oncology released this statement recommending several ways to address the challenge of obesity-related cancer.

And finally

  • Sometimes nature provides inspiration for new technologies, and this interesting article from the Independent explores the potential for a new digital camera using lessons learned from the eyes of the mantis shrimp. The technology could be used to develop new imaging detection tools for cancer, but it’s still in its early days of development so one to keep an eye on for now.


Mantis shrimp image from Flickr via a CC-BY license