DNA code Image via flickr CC-BY-2.0

  • A ‘sugar tax’ on soft drinks came into force on Friday. Manufacturers will have to pay up to 24p per litre extra for drinks with high levels of added sugar. Campaigners hope it will reduce obesity levels and improve health in the UK. Our news report has more on the story, which was picked up by Mirror, The Times and BBC News.
  • ‘One-stop shops’ aimed at speeding up cancer diagnosis are being piloted in 10 hospitals across England. GPs will be able to refer patients with vague symptoms to the multi-disciplinary centres, which aim to diagnose patients earlier. We’ve blogged about these centres before. BBC News, Sky News and Independent also picked up the story.
  • The NHS could ban sugary drink sales in hospitals after more than a third of NHS trusts failed to sign up to a scheme to cut sales, reports ITV News and the Telegraph.
  • Scientists will test if combining specialist MRI scans with high-tech diagnostic tests can improve prostate cancer diagnosis. Mail Online and Express covered the trial announcement, which is funded by the Medical Research Council and Cancer Research UK.
  • Former Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley has called for improvements in bowel cancer screening, after revealing he has bowel cancer. Writing for the Telegraph, he pointed to a lack of endoscopists as one of the reasons that screening tests like bowel scope haven’t been fully rolled out. BBC News and the Guardian picked up the story.
  • Obesity-related hospital admissions have more than doubled over the last four years in England, according to the latest figures from NHS digital. BBC News, Guardian and Mail Online has this one.
  • Scientists in Edinburgh were awarded £2.4 million by Cancer Research UK to find new ways to tackle brain tumours, reports the Scotsman.
  • The Sun covered early research suggesting a lung cancer treatment could be effective in breast cancer. Trials involving patients with breast cancer have begun after the drug, called crizotinib (Xalkori), killed breast cancer cells in mice.
  • The Scientist profiled cancer geneticist and our chief clinician, Professor Charles Swanton.
  • Cancer waiting times in Northern Ireland have got worse in the last year, reports the Irish News. The latest figures show that a third of patients are waiting too long for treatment.
  • More than half of NHS trusts England cancelled cancer operations over the winter, reports the Guardian. Over 530 operations were cancelled between December and February.

And finally

  • Scientists published results from the largest ever genetic analysis of cancer, reports the Independent and The Sun. Scientists read the DNA code of tumours from more than 11,000 patients, spanning 33 types of cancer. They identified 300 genes linked to cancer and discovered that cancers found in different parts of the body are genetically similar, which could improve clinical trials and open the door to new treatment options.