Tasmanian devil sits on grass

Tasmanian Devil. Tasmanian devils may help us overcome some problems with immunotherapy. Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

  • If trends continue, by 2035 almost four in 10 adults will be obese, according to the worrying findings of our new report. The Guardian, BBC and Mail Online were among the many media outlets to cover the report, and we blogged about its findings.
  • The chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, unveiled updated alcohol guidelines for the UK, reinforcing that drinking less reduces the risk of cancer. The story dominated the news, (here’s the BBC’s take), and we blogged about the guidelines and what they mean.
  • The balance of harms and benefits for some types of cancer screening was discussed by US researchers. The Guardian has more.
  • We had some fantastic news from the New Year Honours list as our chief executive, Harpal Kumar, received a knighthood. He blogged about what it was like to hear the news.
  • An update to the world’s largest database for cancer drug discovery will help scientists be more effective in designing new drugs, according to our researchers. Read our press release for the details.

Number of the week


The number of new cancer cases that could be caused if obesity trends continue, according to our new report.

  • We launched a new pilot study testing whether exercise could be used as a treatment for prostate cancer that hasn’t spread. The BBC and Independent covered this, and here’s a video showing how the study will work.
  • The UK’s medicines licensing agency cleared the way for a brand of e-cigarette – made by a tobacco company – to be marketed as a quit-smoking aid. We covered this, as did the BBC.
  • And following an article by our cancer prevention champion, Professor Linda Bauld, New Scientist explained why a study published at the end of last year didn’t show that ‘e-cigarettes are no safer than smoking tobacco’, despite the opinions of the lead researcher.
  • Over at our UCL Health Behaviour Research Centre, the team discuss why some girls aren’t getting the HPV vaccine, or both doses.
  • Our blog post featured in this great Buzzfeed roundup of the best science stories of 2015.
  • A poll from the World Cancer Research Fund UK found that around four in 10 British people aren’t aware that being overweight increases the risk of cancer. Huffington Post has more on this.
  • US scientists are developing an injectable probe that could help surgeons spot if cancer cells are left behind when a tumour is removed. The Mail Online covered this, but it’s still early days for the approach.
  • One of our policy team wrote this for the BioMed Central blog on sharing and protecting patient data.

And finally

  • The Tasmanian devil population is under threat from a cancer they can catch from biting each other’s faces. It’s a well-documented problem, but now there seems to be another catchable cancer threatening the devils. This fascinating article from The Atlantic investigates.