DNA code Image via flickr CC-BY-2.0

  • The nation’s top doctor has called for the NHS to undergo a gene testing revolution. The Telegraph reports that, within five years, the chief medical officer hopes that every cancer patient will have their cancer’s DNA decoded, which could lead to quicker diagnosis and more personalised treatment. We also covered this one.
  • We reported on two new papers that show how personalised cancer vaccines have successfully treated a small number of patients with melanoma. The results of the early studies are very encouraging, although using them as a standard treatment is still pretty far off. Newsweek and The Scientist also reported this story.
  • According to a new report, which made headlines in the Independent and Guardian, Britons are among the most at risk for alcohol-related cancer. The report suggests that we’re the 8th biggest drinkers in Europe, increasing the risk of various cancer types including bowel and oesophageal. The authors also included recommendations which may reduce drinking levels such as restricting alcohol sales and putting minimum pricing in place.

Number of the week


A new report says Britain is 8th in the rankings for the biggest drinkers in Europe.

  • Results from the largest study to date measuring the impact on fertility of women who’ve previously had cancer has concluded that cancer survivors are a third less likely to become pregnant than their peers. But the Guardian and Daily Mail pointed out that the new data show an encouraging improvement in pregnancy rates in some women in recent years.
  • Understanding more about how cancers move around the body could lead to new ideas for treatment, and scientists in Japan have managed to capture cancer spreading on camera by turning mice see-through. According to the BBC, the scientists think this footage of cancer in mice could help them to figure out how and why this happens.
  • While headlines earlier in the year claimed that the gene editing technique, CRISPR, can cause thousands of unwanted and potentially dangerous mutations, a new study has suggested that it might be safe after all. According to New Scientist, a new report suggests that differences in how closely the mice used in the research were related could be to blame, rather than the technique itself.
  • A new ‘copycat’ cancer drug for lymphoma has been launched that comes at a much cheaper price than the original. Rituximab is currently one of the most expensive drugs provided by the NHS so now the patent on it has expired it there could be some big savings.
  • While getting sun cream in your eyes isn’t a good idea, experts have warned that missing sensitive areas could be putting sunbathers at a heightened risk of cancer. The Telegraph and the Metro have the details.

And finally…

  • According to the Mail Online, regularly getting your nails done may increase the risk of skin cancer through exposure to UV light lamps. Although these lamps do give out UV radiation, it’s much less than you’d be exposed to compared to the sun or sunbeds, so any risk of skin cancer is likely to be very low. Staying safe in the sun and avoiding sunbeds is the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of skin cancer. Here’s some tips on how to protect yourself this summer.