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News digest – a new idea to tackle brain tumours, 3D printed ovaries, sunscreen and… breast milk?

by Catherine Pickworth | Analysis

20 May 2017

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  • Our scientists are beginning a pioneering new project that will investigate whether the Zika virus could be used to target brain tumours. This was widely reported by ITV, Newsweek and the Daily Mail. Read more about the exciting research in our press release and blog post.
  • When it comes to sunscreen the most expensive products aren’t necessarily the best. That’s according to a new investigation by consumer watchdog Which? that was reported by the Mirror and others. To get the best protection follow our advice and look to shade and clothing first and sunscreen as a last line of defence for the bits you can’t cover up – use one with at least SPF15 and a UVA rating of 4 stars or more.
  • Images showing immune cells competing with each other could explain why some immunotherapy drugs don’t work, according to a study we funded. Our news report has the details.

    Number of the week

    5, 000

    The number of bowel cancer cases caused by obesity over the last decade in Scotland.

  • Research covered by the Daily Mail adds to the evidence that no amount of smoking is safe, with those smoking between 1 and 10 cigarettes per day still more likely to die from lung cancer or other smoking-related diseases than non-smokers. Check out our website for advice on how to stop.
  • BBC News and the Guardian reported that ‘Fat but Fit’ is officially a myth, according to researchers. The study found that people who were obese were at increased risk of heart disease, even though they may have been otherwise healthy. Obesity is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking – find out tips for keeping a healthy weight on our website.
  • Technology is amazing: a 3D printed ovary has restored fertility to mice unable to have babies, according to the Telegraph. But it remains to be seen if this technique could be useful to cancer patients who can no longer have children as a result of their treatment.
  • We released new figures suggesting that obesity has caused around 5,000 cases of bowel cancer in Scotland in the past 10 years. BBC News Scotland and the Times picked up this story.  Read more about the three leading theories on how obesity causes cancer in our blog post.

And finally

  • Breast milk is not a ‘cancer cure’, as suggested by the Daily Mail and Independent. The claims come amid reports from a clinical trial studying a man-made version of a molecule found in breast milk. However we don’t know yet if treatment with the molecule increased survival for the bladder cancer patients who took part.  We urge people not to use breast milk as a cancer treatment, or to buy any breast milk product due to safety concerns.