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News digest – melanoma ‘breadcrumb trail, blood cell treatment, fashion and more

by Nick Peel | Analysis

18 October 2014

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  • New research from our scientists found that melanoma cells give themselves the ‘green light’ to spread by creating a chemical ‘breadcrumb trail’ encouraging them to move. Here’s the press release and a blog post we co-published on the Guardian science network and this blog. You can also watch clips from the study in the video below.

  • An experimental treatment that trains a patient’s immune system to attack their cancer caused remission in 90 per cent of leukaemia patients on a small-scale trial, though experts warn questions remain.
  • US scientists developed a new computer-based method of analysing biological data, and used it to unearth the genetic roots of an aggressive form of brain cancer known as ‘mesenchymal’ glioblastoma.
  • The risk of developing bowel cancer can be reduced by adopting some or all of five key healthy lifestyle changes, German researchers have confirmed.
  • The NHS ‘blood in pee’ campaign launched this week looking to raise awareness of a key symptom linked to bladder and kidney cancers.
  • A move described as the biggest public health drive in the world includes plans to make 40 per cent of London smoke-free. Read more about the proposal from former health minister Lord Darzi in the Guardian, the Independent.
  • Tuesday marked this year’s Ada Lovelace Day – an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. The Guardian ran this quiz to test how much people know about women in science, and you can read about our own Women of Influence initiative in this blog post.
  • This article from Wired tackles the challenge of 3D-printing viruses that may one day be able to target and kill cancer cells.
  • Computer Weekly looked at the Genomics England project and plans to use ‘Big Data’ to help develop more personalised cancer treatments in the future
  • UK researchers found that one in three lung cancer patients die within 90 days of diagnosis, highlighting the need to diagnose patients earlier and develop more effective treatments. Here’s the BBC’s report, and this excellent NHS Choices article takes an in-depth look at the study.
  • European researchers developed a potential new test that could help doctors more accurately assess the type or stage of ovarian cancer a woman has. The BBC has more on this.
  • Worrying figures released this week reveal the UK has the highest rate of oesophageal adenocarcinoma in the world, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The BBC covered this.
  • IARC also announced a series of 12 recommendations for the public that can reduce the risk of cancer. New Scientist and the Telegraph have more on this European Code Against Cancer.
  • This blog post from PLoS looks at the complicated exchange of evidence around standardised, plain packaging for cigarettes.

And finally

  • What happens when the worlds of fashion and cancer research combine? This Guardian blog post explores.