• This week we reported that MPs have launched an inquiry into e-cigarettes. The House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee wants to find out what evidence is missing around e-cigs and their health effects. Public Health England estimates that e-cigarettes are far safer than tobacco, but other countries have taken different approaches. BBC News has more.
  • Cancer patients are less likely to have chemotherapy if diagnosed early, reports the Huffington Post. The new data report shows that patients whose cancer was diagnosed early were more likely to have surgery than chemo or radiotherapy. Our blog post has more.
  • We covered a small study that found the most aggressive type of ovarian cancer develops from cells that come from the fallopian tubes rather than the ovaries. Until recently it was thought that the disease developed from cells lining the surface of the ovary, but the new work could lead to new ways to prevent and treat it. The Independent also had this story.

Number of the week


New genetic variants found to increase the risk of breast cancer by a small amount

  • Junk food promotions in Scotland will be restricted under plans reported by BBC News. The Scottish government wants to limit deals on foods high in fat, sugar and salt, and could push for powers to ban TV adverts for unhealthy foods before the 9pm watershed. The Herald and iNews also had the story.
  • New DNA changes that increase the risk of breast cancer by a small amount have been identified, reports the Guardian. These 65 new variants, combined with the 180 already known, account for around a fifth of the increased risk that comes from inheriting the faulty genes. The Independent also covered this story.
  • Different types of brain tumours may share similar survival strategies, reports Medical Xpress. Surprisingly, a new study found the way cells from different kinds of brain tumour generate and use energy is similar, opening up new treatment research avenues. Check out our blog post for more.
  • An experimental gene therapy has shown promise for treating some brain tumour patients. We reported on a small clinical trial that found the therapy to be safe in patients with a kind of tumour called glioma, and the researchers will now see if’s more effective than current treatments.
  • Immunotherapy is a powerful treatment, but doesn’t work for everyone and can have serious side effects. But a small, early study suggests combining information from different cancer scans could offer a way to predict if immunotherapy will work. Researchers used a computer programme to gauge the likelihood of treatment being successful, without the need for an invasive tissue sample (biopsy). Check out our news report for more.

And finally

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) received a huge backlash to its appointment of Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador. Many countries and health bodies criticised the decision citing a ‘long track record of human rights violations’, and a few days later the WHO’s head reversed the decision. The Guardian and Independent covered this story.