• We said good riddance to January 2016 after cancer took another national treasure, BBC’s Sir Terry Wogan, who died at age 77 after a “short but brave battle,” as reported by the BBC. He will be missed.
  • In other news, scientists got the ‘gene editing’ go-ahead. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) gave approval to genetically modify human embryos. This new genetic editing technique could also hold real potential for tackling cancer. The BBC, Guardian among many others covered this high profile story.
  • And if you want to find out how the technology behind gene editing works, and how it could change the way we study cancer, you can read our blog post.
  • Thursday was World Cancer Day and according to our analysis cancer death rates are down by 10 per cent in 10 years. The BBC, Guardian and our press release have all the details.

Number of the week


Cancer death rates are down 10 per cent in 10 years, according to our latest analysis.

  • Also on World Cancer Day the Independent questioned why cancer is still a taboo subject and people continue to be secretive about a diagnosis. Read about it here.
  • The BBC, Guardian, among others reported on new findings that suggest proton beam therapy (a type of radiotherapy) is ‘effective with fewer side effects’ for certain types of cancer. For more information on proton beam therapy check out our blog post.
  • England’s Chief Medical Officer made drinking a glass of wine a serious affair when she asked people to consider the cancer risk associated with each drink they take. The BBC has more on this. And for more information about how alcohol affects your cancer risk read this.
  • MPs concluded the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) ‘should be managed better’. The Financial Times, BBC and Guardian all reported on this. And here are the key reforms we think the government should make to the CDF.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, films where people smoke should be given an adult rating because tobacco firms are using them to market cigarettes to children. The Independent has the full details.
  • President Obama’s cancer “moonshoot” is in the news again this week. STAT News along with the New York Times reported that Obama is calling for $1 billion to get the project started.
  • Our research found that almost 400,000 more people would take the bowel cancer screening test if the letter they receive encouraging them to do so was endorsed by their GP. The Mirror covered this and here’s our press release.
  • During prime minister’s question time the PM admitted that the government had missed cancer waiting times target. The Guardian has more on this story.
  • New research in fruit flies shows that cancer cells create space to grow by killing off the surrounding healthy cells. We covered this as did the Telegraph.
  • Our news digest wouldn’t be the same without calling out at least one overhyped headline – this week it’s the Mirror for this headline: “Huge cancer breakthrough as scientists kill infected cells by getting them addicted to drugs”. While the research is a step forward, the drugs have been around for ages so it’s not really a breakthrough. Also they haven’t shown to be very effective.
  • The BBC and the Guardian reported that a new “global hub” for cancer research is being set up in London to help speed up the discovery of new treatments.
  • Headlines covering American research suggested that eating more fibre, especially fruit and veg, during adolescence could reduce your risk of breast cancer later in life. The study asked people to remember what their diet was like as a teenager, so more follow up is needed to confirm these results. Keeping a healthy body weight, cutting down on alcohol and being active can all help reduce your risk of breast cancer. The Telegraph and Mirror both reported this and for more about how diet can affect your cancer risk check this out.
  • A US study suggests that adult cancer survivors face an increased risk of heart disease. Reuters has the details.

And finally…

  • The Daily Mail reports that the UK authorities are being called in to investigate the link between artificial football pitches and cancer. According to an American study artificial turf made from old tyres contains toxic chemicals, which have been linked to cancer. But there isn’t any good scientific evidence to suggest that playing on artificial pitches actually causes cancer and materials such as these are already thoroughly regulated to make sure they are safe.