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News digest – smokefree 2030, NICE decision, proton beam therapy and CAR T cell boost in mice

by Ethan Meyers | Analysis

27 July 2019

1 comment 1 comment

Cigarette burning

Government says England will be ‘smokefree by 2030’

The BBC reported on the now former Government’s newly published ‘green paper’, which lays out the ambition to make England smokefree by 2030, among other targets. It’s a bold goal, with a handful of possible routes to delivering this on the table, including the potential to make tobacco companies pay for the damage they cause. Our blog post has all you need to know.

Also, as an interesting read for the sofa statisticians out there, the BBC looked at the statistics behind how likely you are to smoke. The article points out the socioeconomic divide between smokers and non-smokers, highlighting some of the problems that must be addressed if the Government is to meet its smokefree 2030 target.

Targeted drug will be offered earlier for advanced ovarian cancers

Described as a ‘wonder drug’ in The Sun, and a ‘game changer’ in The Telegraph, the National Institute for health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended the drug olaparib (Lynparza) be offered earlier for some patients on the NHS in England. With headlines like those it can be hard to figure out what this drug is, who it’s for, and how ‘game changing’ it really is. For everything you need to know about olaparib, check out our news report.

Documentary tracks NHS proton beam therapy centre construction

BBC Horizon followed the NHS through the process of building two new cancer treatment centres that will offer proton beam therapy. The centre at the Christie Hospital in Manchester is open and starting to treat patients, while the one at University College Hospital in London is due to open next year. For everything you need to know about this type of radiotherapy, read our blog post.

New kind of CAR T cell therapy effective in mice with brain tumours

CAR T cell therapy uses cellular engineering to take a patient’s immune cells and turn them into a cancer-fighting treatment. It has been shown to be effective against particular blood cancers in some adults and children, but progress in treating solid tumours has been limited. This week, STAT reported that a newly adapted form of CAR T cells proved effective against a particular type of brain tumour in mice. There is still a long, long way to go for this treatment, but the ingenuity of the approach shows scientists are hard at work in the hunt for progress.

Precision radiotherapy trial helping patients previously considered incurable

The BBC have reported on the phase two clinical trial in Scotland of a high-precision radiotherapy called SABR. The treatment could become a new option for patients with cancer that has spread around their body. If you want to find out a little more about what SABR is, and how it works, check out our blog post.

Doctors say results of at-home genetic testing kits should be treated with caution

The Guardian reported on the growing burden that home genetic testing kits are having on the NHS. Doctors say that the kits are putting pressure on the NHS when people are referred thinking they may carry faulty genes linked to certain diseases. In some cases, follow-up NHS testing is revealing that the results of at-home testing kits are false.

And finally

The Sun, The Telegraph and Mail Online reported on a new observational study that looked at the diets of around 500,000 people and found that eating fish regularly slightly reduced the risk of bowel cancer. But one observational study alone cannot prove that eating fish reduces cancer risk, and more research is needed. For a full explanation on what the study does, and doesn’t mean, take a look at NHS behind the headlines.



  • Lorraine
    6 August 2019

    Government should stop cigarettes altogether it costs the hospital billions


  • Lorraine
    6 August 2019

    Government should stop cigarettes altogether it costs the hospital billions