• The new £28.5m Manchester Cancer Research Centre building opened this week, as covered by the BBC and ITV. Cancer Research UK contributed £10m towards it, and its director, Professor Nic Jones, – who’s also our chief scientist, blogged about why he’s so excited about it.
  • Experts highlighted the fact that almost a fifth of all diagnoses of cervical cancer occur in women over 65, reinforcing the need for all of us to know the disease’s symptoms, regardless of our age. The BBC covered the story; here’s a piece we wrote last year about the tricky issues around which ages to screen.
  • A large US study confirmed the deadly impact of smoking: among 12 different types of cancer, tobacco appears to be linked to half of cases overall. Reuters reports, and the NHS Choices analyses the stats in depth here.
  • A study found a statistical link between people who develop cancer and those who take certain types of sleeping pill. But as we point out in this article in The Express, it’s too early to say whether sleeping tablets actually increase cancer risk.
  • US researchers looked at the link between DDT pesticide exposure in children born in the 60s, and their risk of breast cancer later in life, as covered here by Reuters UK,. It’s an interesting study, but the small total numbers of cancer cases involved means there are still questions that future research needs to answer.

Number of the week


The total investment, in £, in the new Manchester Cancer Research Centre building

  • It was a good week for researchers working on ‘organoids’ – miniature lab-grown organ-like structures, dubbed ‘boob tubes’ in this New Scientist article about research on breast cancer.
  • Organoids also featured in this article we wrote, about similar bowel-based creations that researchers are using to reveal new weaknesses in bowel cancer cells.
  • High rates of liver cancer in northern Thailand have been traced to a particular dish that contains fish contaminated with parasitic liver flukes, the BBC reported.
  • “You asked: can deodorant give you cancer?”, said Time. We answered, ‘No’.
  • The Guardian wrote about an Australian breast cancer patient who is trying to overturn her government’s decision on the patent on the BRCA1 gene mutation.
  • The UK Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency seized a ‘fake drugs‘ haul – including cancer drugs – worth £16m, the BBC reported.
  • The BBC also covered a warning from a Trade Union about the dangers of asbestos in schools.
  • And RT covered early stage research into an experimental treatment for asbestos-linked mesothelioma.
  • ‘How Much Should Cancer Drugs Cost?’, asked the Wall Street Journal.
  • The ever-excellent Dr Len wrote this personal piece for the American Cancer Society, about what we can learn when our dogs develop cancer. Len, if you’re reading, we’re really sorry to hear about Lily :(
  • Science 2.0 looked at the issue of dogs with cancer too.

And finally

  • This week’s speculative cancer-curing fruit is… avocados! The NHS Choices effectively debunked some rather over-the-top headlines claiming that a chemical found in avocados could help fight leukaemia. Short version: the chemical hasn’t even entered clinical trials yet.