Don’t worry if you’ve been too busy to read up on the latest cancer research this week. We’ve collated the big stories from the past 7 days and provided a short summary below. Click on the links to read the stories in full:
- The government announced a £150 million investment to introduce cutting-edge proton beam radiotherapy treatment to England. This is great news, as it means that patients for whom this therapy is suitable will no longer have to travel abroad to receive their treatment.
- A new study from the Netherlands showed that adding HPV testing to cervical screening programmes prevents more cervical cancer than the smear test alone in women over 30. HPV testing has already been added to the national cervical screening programme, and studies like this will help shape screening programmes in the future.
- A crucial step in how cells divide was discovered by Cancer Research UK scientists. Losing control of cell division can lead to cancer, so this work could underpin future advances in beating the disease. Watch this short movie for more info:
- Results from a Cancer Research UK clinical trial showed that fewer, larger radiotherapy doses are safe for prostate cancer patients. If follow-up studies show that the treatment is also more effective, then this could cut down the number of trips to hospital for men with the disease.
- A US study could be reassuring for would-be parents who had chemotherapy or radiotherapy as a child – it showed that having these treatments doesn’t seem to increase the risk of birth defects in the children of these cancer survivors.
- And finally, we think that headlines about a new “super vaccine” for cancer are premature. The research by US scientists to develop a vaccine against a protein called MUC1 is very interesting – and has shown some impressive results in the lab – but it’s still far from being an effective treatment for patients.
That’s it for this week. We hope that you have a great Christmas, and we’ll be back with further news digests in the new year. (If we spot anything big before then, we’ll let you know.)