• One of the largest events in the cancer research community took place this week – the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, so you may have seen lots of cancer news hitting the headlines. Here are a few of the biggest stories, plus some other goings on in cancer research this week.
  • Results presented by our researchers at ASCO showed that adding the drug abiraterone (Zytiga) to hormone therapy extends survival in men whose prostate cancer has spread. Our news report and press release have the details, and it was widely covered by BBC News, Independent, Evening Standard and Times.
  • Researchers in the States have developed a web-based app to help cancer patients report their symptoms. A study found patients using the app lived 5 months longer than expected, according to STAT News and Telegraph.

Number of the week


The number of minutes of brisk walking that may ‘cut risk of death from cancer’

  • The Mirror featured a study on how yoga can help cancer patients sleep better and as a result are less likely to suffer pain and fatigue, providing a “low-risk, low-cost treatment”.
  • Research covered by Medscape and Healio showed that giving a single dose of radiotherapy to patients with cancer that has spread relieves spinal cord compression, a debilitating complication of advanced cancer. Our news report has more details on our unpublished study which was presented at ASCO.
  • More research from ASCO highlighted the importance of being physically active and eating a healthy diet, and not just for preventing cancer. Two studies found that a daily 25 minute brisk walk could help improve survival for people with bowel and breast cancer, as reported by the Independent and Daily Mail.
  • A combination of two immunotherapy drugs is safe to give to patients with melanoma that has spread to the brain, and could help control the disease according to a study. You can read more in our news report.
  • Away from ASCO, the results from a trial which we part-funded showed that a new approach to chemotherapy gives patients a better quality of life and is as effective at preventing breast cancer from returning as the alternative regimen. The National and Medical News Today covered the story, and you can read more about it in our press release.
  • Liquid biopsies’ could help make painless cancer detection routine by picking up cancer DNA in the blood, according to researchers at ASCO and reported by the Scotsman and Guardian. Watch our animation below to find out how these blood tests work, and read more in this blog post.

  • A study has shown a drug used to treat some ovarian cancers reduces the chance that certain advanced breast cancers will get worse, according to the Financial Times, Daily Mail, and Mirror. But as our news report explains, it’s too early to know if the benefit seen with the drug olaparib will ultimately lead to these women surviving longer.
  • BBC News and the Guardian reported on a new drug that was able to shrink ovarian tumours in an early stage clinical trial, and may have fewer side-effects than current treatments.
  • Mail Online reported on a study suggesting that extracts from red onions could kill cancer cells in the lab. But don’t go stocking up just yet – it’s too early to say if this would have the same effect in a person’s body, which is much more complex.

And finally

  • We were saddened to hear the news of the untimely and sudden death of Professor Patrick Johnston, a pioneer of cancer research and a remarkable man. You can read our tribute here.