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News digest – Stoptober, NHS drug decisions, quality calories and the childhood cancer survivor turned scientist

by Gabriella Beer | Analysis

22 September 2018

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Healthy food cancer prevention

PHE launches Stoptober campaign

The BBC covered Public Health England’s launch of its annual Stoptober campaign. The health body predicts that by 2023 only 1 in 10 adults in England will smoke. We reported on the new figures that show the number of smokers in England has fallen by more than a million since 2014.

NHS ‘no’ for engineered immune cell therapy

One of a new line of immune-boosting treatments has been provisionally rejected for use in some adults with an aggressive type of lymphoma. We covered the decision for patients in England, which will be reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) at the end of October.

NHS approves drug combo for advanced skin cancer

NHS England will now provide patients with a certain type of aggressive skin cancer a combination of targeted drugs. Clinical trials have shown the treatments can significantly reduce the chance of cancer coming back after surgery. Our report and the BBC has more.

UK women rank 4th in westerners most likely to die young

A large study has revealed that out of all high-income Western countries, women in the UK have the fourth highest rate of early death from diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. This is because of differences in lifestyles, says the Mail Online. A researcher involved in the study said drinking, smoking and obesity are all linked to why UK women are more likely to die before the age of 70 of these illnesses than those in other countries.

Pathologist shortage causing delays to cancer diagnosis

A new report by the Royal College of Pathologists says pathology departments in the NHS are suffering from chronic staff shortages. According to the BBC, just 3 in 100 departments have enough staff to meet clinical demand. We also covered the story.

We launch the London biotherapeutics powerhouse

Our new research hub in London aims to accelerate research into biotherapuetics thanks to a £14 million funding boost. The Evening Standard explains that biotherapeutics are treatments that involve living cells.

Majority of yoghurt loaded with sugar

They’re sometimes thought of as a healthy snack, but according to The Telegraph, a new study has shown that some supermarket yoghurts contain more sugar than a glass of Coke. Researchers said that fewer than 1 in 10 yoghurts found in UK supermarkets are categorised as ‘low sugar’, despite some being marketed as healthy.

Personalised medicine in depth

The Guardian asks if the era of personalised medicine has finally arrived in this long read.

The genetic popularity contest

A new study shows that scientists tend to study genes that are already well understood. This article from The Atlantic looks at why.

People encouraged to think about ‘quality calories’

We know consuming too many calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, but the British Nutrition Foundation are encouraging people to not just think about how many calories they consume but also the quality of their food and drink. The BBC talks about the ‘quality calories concept’ and how it’s important to consider the quality of our diet and what nutrients we need, as well as the number of calories.

£31 million post- Brexit cancer research collaboration

We announced our new partnership with two major European cancer charities. The collaboration will invest £31 million into six international trials that aim to make new cancer drugs cheaper and more widely available to patients. PharmaTimes ran the story and our press release has the details.

And finally

For Childhood Cancer Awareness Month one of our supporters, Lucy, shared her story in the Guardian. She explains how one of our childhood cancer experts, Professor Pam Kearns, did more than just help her through her cancer treatment at the age of 14 – she also inspired her to pursue a career in science.