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News digest – ‘stealth’ nanoparticles, children’s brain tumours, lung cancer immunotherapy and aspirin

by PA Media Group | Analysis

18 April 2020

1 comment 1 comment

Model of a brain

With news about the coronavirus pandemic developing daily, we want to make sure everyone affected by cancer gets the information they need during this time.

We’re pulling together the latest government and NHS health updates from across the UK in a separate blog post, which we’re updating regularly. 

Weekly aspirin use linked with lower cancer risk 

New analysis suggesting that regularly taking aspirin could reduce the risk of developing some digestive tract cancers was widely covered this week. Daily aspirin use has already been shown to lower bowel cancer risk in people with Lynch syndrome, but scientists found that taking the everyday painkiller once a week could cut the risk of developing other cancers, including stomach and pancreatic cancer. But despite the headlines we don’t have the full picture yetresearch is still ongoing to work out the right dose and how and taking aspirin may affect different people. 

‘Stealth’ nanoparticles could help deliver chemo to brain tumours 

A team of scientists have developed a nanoparticle capable of slipping through the brain’s defensive blood-brain barrier in mice. The particles are covered in molecules that make the body think they’re nutrients and loaded with chemotherapy drugs. But despite promising results in mice, there’s still a long way to go. New Atlas has the full story and we’ve blogged about developing nanoparticles to get drugs across the blood brain barrier before. 

Targeted drug could provide alternative to young children with brain tumours 

Science Focus picked up early results testing a targeted drug in mice with brain tumours. Scientists believe lorlatinib could offer an alternative to chemotherapy for children diagnosed with a type of brain tumour called high-grade glioma, but the targeted treatment still needs to be put to the test in clinical trials.  

And finally… 

Researchers in the US have reported promising results from an early trial of the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab in advanced lung cancer. Forty-two patients with advanced non small cell lung cancer whose disease had spread to the brain were treated, and the team found that responses varied depending on the levels of a particular marker, PD-L1, within the tumour. Four in 10 of those whose cancer did respond were alive a year after treatment. The drug now needs to be put to the test against existing treatment options. Read more at Yale News.  

Scarlett Sangster is a writer for PA Media Group


  • Zuri KB
    7 June 2020

    Whoa scary


  • Zuri KB
    7 June 2020

    Whoa scary