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News digest – bowel cancer screening, cancer immune shield, The Sun’s miscalculation and… testing a ‘blood test’?

by Nick Peel | Analysis

26 September 2015

1 comment 1 comment

  • Our scientists found that more than half of those invited declined to take a new bowel cancer screening test, known as Bowel Scope. The BBC covered this; here’s our press release and the researchers behind the study blogged about the findings.
  • A team of our scientists in Edinburgh discovered that a molecule called FAK – which cancer cells often produce in excess – could be shielding tumours from the immune system. The Scotsman covered this one, and here’s our press release, and a blog post looking in more detail..
  • We responded to incorrect reports in The Sun claiming that for every pound Cancer Research UK is given, ‘only 57p’ goes towards beating cancer. It’s actually 80p from every £1 raised that we spend on beating cancer. The blog post got picked up by Civil Society, who found we weren’t alone in our complaints about the story.
  • The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca released early lab data for more than 50 experimental drugs in the hope that other scientists might be able to use it to develop new treatment combinations. Reuters has more.
  • The combination of genes switched on inside breast cancer tumours could help predict whether the disease is likely to return after treatment, UK scientists found. The BBC and Mail Online have more on these early results.
  • Breast cancer cells that had spread through the bodies of mice were found to be genetically different from  cells that made up the primary tumour, according to early work by US scientists. The Mirror has more.

Number of the week:


The number of pennies in each £1 raised that we spend beating cancer. A figure The Sun couldn’t quite get its head around.

  • The cost of cancer drugs was in the news again, as the Guardian covered an analysis of what the NHS pays for two cancer drugs compared to other countries.
  • Government funding for research on cancer has fallen, according to an analysis of Medical Research Council spending since 2010. Here’s the Guardian’s report.
  • Combining an antidepressant with a blood-thinning drug extended the lives of mice with an aggressive type of brain tumour. The Mirror has more, but it’s not clear how the treatment works, so it’s still very early days.
  • This article from The Conversation looks at how cancer cells produce energy to grow, and one way this could be targeted to cut off their fuel supply.
  • Men with prostate cancer and women with breast cancer approach their cancer journeys differently, according to an analysis of social media posts. The Wall Street Journal investigates.
  • Data-crunching computer programmes could one day help doctors predict how a breast cancer patient may respond to treatment. Gizmag has more on early lab tests on the approach.
  • How might social inequalities affect the ways people seek out cancer information? Scientists at the UCL Health Behaviour Research Centre are trying to find out, and they’ve been blogging about their findings.
  • The Mail Online covered new figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) highlighting levels of obesity, smoking and alcohol drinking in Europe and the impact they could have on life expectancy. Though, as NHS Choices points out, claims that UK women’s life expectancy is the 2nd worst in Europe don’t quite add up.
  • Dogs were in the news again with this BBC article featuring a breast cancer patient who says her dog sniffed out her tumour.
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence looks set to recommend a new drug to treat a type of leukaemia on the NHS. The Express covered the announcement.
  • A survey of Welsh cancer patients has sparked ideas for how to improve care in the country. The BBC has more.

And finally

  • A US company hasn’t adequately tested whether a cancer ‘blood test’ they are selling is actually a test, says the US Food and Drugs Administration. The Verge has all the details, and the company responded, but there are still important questions unanswered.



  • imad fahad
    26 September 2015

    Please translated in arabic language


  • imad fahad
    26 September 2015

    Please translated in arabic language