An image of a great white shark

Credit: Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Smoking may limit body’s ability to fight melanoma skin cancer

ITV News covered new research showing that melanoma patients with a history of smoking are 40% less likely to survive their cancer than people who have never smoked. Cancer Research UK scientists who led the study said that cigarettes could be reducing the immune system’s ability to fight cancer. But while the study found a link between smoking and survival, the study hasn’t proved that smoking caused the drop. Our press release has the details.

Global cervical cancer rates could fall dramatically, say new predictions

The Guardian covered new figures predicting that cervical cancers could be ‘eliminated’ in most countries by 2100. Researchers in Australia predicted that up to 13.4 million cases of cervical cancers could be prevented over the next 50 years by a high uptake of cervical screening and HPV vaccination. While the figures reinforce the benefits of vaccination and screening, they’re based on extremely optimistic estimates of the number of women who will take part in these programmes. We recently blogged about how cervical cancer rates could change in the UK in the future.

Flexible drug pricing could speed up NHS access

PharmaTimes covered our report looking at new ways for the NHS to pay for cancer treatments. We teamed up with the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership to investigate a more flexible approach to drug pricing, which links the price of a drug to how much benefit it gives NHS patients. Find out more about the research and what patients say matter to them in our blog post.

UK teenagers are among least healthy in Europe

Children and young adults in the UK are in worse health than their counterparts in most European countries, reports The Sun and The Guardian. Almost 1 in 5 16-24 year olds in the UK are living with a chronic health problem according to the new report, which also found that the UK has the highest rates of obesity in Europe amongst 15-19 year olds.

Green light for targeted lung cancer drug on NHS

The targeted treatment brigatinib (Alunbrig) has been recommended as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer on the NHS in England and Wales. Doctors will be able to use the drug to treat patients whose cancer has a specific fault in its DNA and who have already been treated with another targeted drug. PharmaTimes covered the approval and full details are on The National Institute for Health and Care Excellent (NICE) website.

Fatty food ad ban starts on London transport network

The junk food ad ban announced last year by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan will come into force next week on London’s transport network. The ban is designed to tackle childhood obesity in the capitol and covers all adverts for food and non-alcoholic drinks high in fat, salt and/or sugar. Evening Standard has the story.

Eating whole grains may reduce liver cancer risk

A US study has linked a high intake of wholegrains to a reduced risk of liver cancer. The study included 125,455 adults and followed them for an average of just under 25 years. But despite the large group, only 141 people in the cohort developed liver cancer and so the findings are far from conclusive. The authors caution that larger studies that consider all possible risk factors are needed to confirm the findings. Daily Mail has the story.

Predicting ovarian cancer prognosis using artificial intelligence

New AI software is more accurate at predicting how aggressive ovarian cancer is than current methods, according to new research picked up by DigitalHealth. The software analysed CT scans and tissue samples to generate a prediction and was found to be more accurate than current blood tests and prognostic scores. While the programme looks promising, it will need to be tested in more women before doctors can fully understand it’s potential.

And finally

Could the great white shark hold the key to understanding cancer? It’s not a question that many of us will have asked, until this week. Scientists have mapped the DNA of this underwater giant for the first time and uncovered faults that help protect the creatures against cancer and other diseases. According to the scientists, great whites have the ability to repair DNA in a way that humans don’t, making their genetic code more stable than ours. They hope that by diving deeper into the differences, they can help to discover new ways to treat age-related diseases. Take a look at BBC News for the story.