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News digest – HPV jab for boys, childhood obesity, ‘one-stop diagnosis shops’ and Zika virus

by Katie Roberts | Analysis

28 July 2018

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NHS hospital bicycle

Boys will be offered HPV jab, says Westminster

The HPV vaccine will be given to boys as well as girls, the Government announced this week, after an expert vaccine committee recommended extending the programme. The decision brings England into line with Scotland and Wales. The news was covered by The Sun and BBC News, and we blogged about what happens next.

Severe obesity in school children hits record high

One in 25 of 10 to 11-year olds are severely obese, according to new figures from Public Health England. We covered the report, which also showed an upward trend in the proportion of year 6 children who are overweight and obese. The Telegraph also has the story.

Immunotherapy drug made available for some NHS patients with Hodgkin lymphoma

The immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) can now be used to treat patients in England who haven’t responded or have stopped responding to standard treatment and aren’t able to have a stem cell transplant. We covered the announcement.

Parents neglect their own sun protection

Over half of parents admitted to getting sunburnt in the last 12 months in the UK, results from a YouGov survey have revealed. And only 3 in 10 parents strongly agreed that they’re setting a good example to their children about sun protection. Our press release and The Times (£) have more.

Cancer ‘one-stop shops’ can help speed up diagnosis

One-stop clinics for patients with symptoms that could indicate cancer can cut average waiting times for a referral from 75 days to 15, according to a new study covered by Pulse. The one-stop shops studied, which carry out all tests in a single appointment, also saw three times more patients diagnosed on the same day compared with multi-stop clinics.

You might not be applying enough sunscreen

The way most people apply sunscreen leaves their skin with less than half the protection they expect, according to new research covered by The Guardian and BBC News. Emma Shields from Cancer Research UK said that the research confirms that when it comes to sunscreen, the key is to use it liberally and reapply regularly, and a higher SPF doesn’t provide as much extra protection as people might think.

And finally

STAT News covered some interesting, early research attempting to harness the destructive power of Zika viruses to target and kill cancer cells. The work was done using cancer cells grown in the lab from neuroblastoma, a children’s cancer that starts in nerve cells. Scientists found the virus was highly effective at killing cells from most, but not all neuroblastomas. It’s a fascinating approach, but remains a long way from being tested in people.