Soft drink cans

Soft drink cans

3 international research teams to tackle top cancer challenges

We unveiled 3 new research teams funded through our Grand Challenge initiative. Forbes and The Guardian covered one project studying how gut bacteria might impact bowel cancer, and whether this can be harnessed for new treatments. The others will focus on how certain faulty genes cause cancer in specific organs and not others, and how chronic inflammation causes cancer. Meet the scientists leading these research projects in this blog post.

New tests to track ‘unknown cancers’

Where a cancer first grows in the body plays a huge part in choosing how to treat it. But for 2 in every 100 cancers diagnosed in the UK each year, doctors can’t find that original tumour. The Sunday Times looks at how blood tests might help shed light on these ‘cancers of unknown primary’, and we blogged about the work our scientists are doing to develop better tests.

Young women put off cervical screening ‘due to embarrassment’

To mark Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust surveyed more than 2,000 young women about cervical screening. Embarrassment came out as the top reason those surveyed might delay screening or not go at all, reports The Guardian. We spoke to a cancer prevention expert who underlined the importance of screening for cutting cervical cancer rates in the future.

NHS proton beam therapy centre set to treat first patients

A 15-year-old with a brain tumour will become one of the first patients to be treated with proton beam therapy at a new NHS centre, reports the BBC. You can read more about this specialised type of radiotherapy on our blog.

Are kids turning their backs on sugary drinks?

The latest data from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey shows the number of 4 to 10-year-olds drinking sugary drinks has fallen by a third in the last 9 years. While fewer children are drinking these drinks, the BBC reports that overall children across all age groups are still consuming more than their recommended amount of sugar.

New stats reinforce importance of diagnosing cancer early

For a range of cancers, an early diagnosis (stage 1 and 2) leads to high survival a year and 5 years after diagnosis, reports the BBC. The latest data for England comes from the Office for National Statistics and restates how survival chances fall with later stage diagnosis.

Gene study aims to predict risk of breast cancer return

Scientists in Edinburgh are building research evidence for a test that might help predict the risk that a woman’s breast cancer will return after treatment. The Mail Online and the Independent covered the early lab research that looked at the activity of certain genes inside the tumours of a small number of women.

‘Urine banks’ could help develop cancer tests

STAT News visited a US lab that’s filling freezers with samples as part of a study looking for signs of cancer in urine that might be used to develop detection tests.

And finally

A debate in The BMJ triggered discussion over whether certain ‘low risk’ cancers should be renamed to alleviate fears around the conditions and help avoid overtreatment. On the flipside, others cautioned that mixing up how these diseases are badged could cause confusion for patients. Our chief clinician, Professor Charles Swanton, offered his thoughts in this opinion piece in New Scientist.