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News digest – lung cancer evolution, Nobel Prizes, green tea and more

by Nick Peel | Analysis

11 October 2014

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  • Lung cancers take at least 20 years to develop, according to two new studies – one from a team of our scientists. The findings show how different processes – including smoking – affect cells as they develop into cancer. The Mail Online, the Independent and News Scientist all covered the research and we blogged about the details of the studies and their implications.
  • The 2014 crop of Nobel Prizes were announced this week – including the prize in physiology or medicine for the discovery of the brain’s ‘inner GPS’ system’, and the chemistry prize for advances in microscope imaging. To mark the occasion we blogged about our own Nobel laureates, Paul Nurse and Time Hunt, who won their awards in 2001.
  • A team of UK scientists, including some funded by Cancer Research UK, showed for the first time how the protein made by the BRCA2 gene helps to repair damaged DNA.
  • A ‘next generation’ vaccine that protects against nine cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus (HPV) (rather than two types, as in the current vaccine) may prevent even more cervical cancers, according to an international study.
  • There’s been a fall in the number of adults who smoke in the country, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. The Guardian had this report.
  • We launched our latest Citizen Science game Reverse The Odds. Read this blog post on the science behind the game, or watch the video below where Cancer Research UK scientist Dr Anne Kiltie explains why her lab is getting involved.

  • The Guardian featured a series of articles looking at the past, present and future of chemotherapy. The first looks at the origins of chemotherapy from mustard gas, the next explores the development of targeted treatments and the final piece covers the challenge of resistance to chemotherapy.
  • This excellent article from The Conversation takes a look at the emerging trend for repurposing established drugs to treat cancer.
  • Fascinating early stage research from Australia found that a purified extract from a berry found in the rainforests of Queensland shrank tumours in mice. The Guardian has more.
  • The Committee of Advertising Practice announced new rules allowing e-cigarettes to be featured in TV adverts. The BBC and the Guardian covered the announcement.
  • The Cochrane Collaboration’s excellent ‘Evidently Cochrane’ blog had this article on the evidence for which breast cancer treatment is best.
  • A couple of blog posts from The Institute of Cancer Research caught our eye this week. The first looked at the challenges in setting up clinical trials for children’s cancers.
  • And the second opens up how researchers test whether a promising drug target lives up to that potential.

And finally

  • Sit down, pour yourself a cuppa and read this article from NHS Choices that explains why this article from the Mail Online is a little misleading in suggesting that green tea can fight cancer.