That’s all folks!
Before the final day of the conference started, we once again awoke to news stories based on research presented over the last few days.
The BBC led with figures released at the conference showing that the economic cost of cancer tops £15bn a year in the UK. Drawing on the same figures, the Daily Mail highlighted the staggering toll of lung cancer in the UK – £2.4 billion per year – which is more than other common cancers such as breast and bowel.
We agree with their headline that there’s an urgent need to stop younger people from taking up smoking – the major cause of lung cancer.
Translating a ‘eureka’ moment in the laboratory into new medical advances for cancer patients is never easy. But thanks to the support of the public, we’re experts at it.
And today we’re pleased to introduce four new members of our team of over 4,000 doctors, scientists and nurses around the UK.
All four have the rare potential not only to excel in the clinic – treating and caring for patients – but also to carry out innovative research into cancer. This combination of clinical acumen and research expertise is crucial to help us bridge the gap between the lab bench and the patient’s bedside.
Thanks to our thousands of supporters who help us in countless ways – from dropping off a bag of clothes at a Cancer Research UK shop to sponsoring a friend a couple of pounds – we’ve been able to invest £2.75 million in the following Clinician Scientist Fellowships. (This comes hot on the heels of last month’s announcement of an £11 million investment into some of the brightest minds in cancer research.)
You can learn more about each of the new clinician scientist fellows work by clicking on the photos:
Dr Holger Auner is working on new ways to treat multiple myeloma
Coverage of an anti-cancer "wonder jab" is over-hyped and misleading
Over the weekend you may have seen headlines announcing that a “‘Universal’ cancer vaccine” or “wonder jab” has been developed by Israeli researchers.
In fact, the story behind the headlines is about unpublished interim clinical trial results from just seven patients given ImMucin, a new vaccine targeting a protein called MUC1 which is found on the surface of many cancer cells.
We are concerned that some of the coverage of this story has been over-hyped and misleading – something that is particularly pertinent given the focus on responsible science and health reporting as part of the ongoing Leveson Inquiry (pdf).
These won't be used as a cancer treatment
Here are a few thoughts on this morning’s headlines about ecstasy and cancer.
(In case you missed them, they’re based on research from Birmingham, published in the New Investigational Drugs journal, in which researchers report that they’ve ‘redesigned’ the molecular structure of ecstasy to make it more effective at killing lab-grown blood cancer cells).
Research is behind improvements in myeloma treatment
This year at the ASCO conference in the US, several sessions reflected on the rapid progress that has been made for different cancers. We’ve already reported back on the exciting melanoma trial results, which stole the show.
Another exciting highlight was the session on progress in multiple myeloma – a cancer of the bone marrow.
Only a few decades ago, most people with multiple myeloma would only survive for a couple of years after being diagnosed. As US cancer researcher Dr Kenneth Anderson, told the conference, today’s combination treatments mean that some patients will now live for 10 years or more after treatment.
Dr Anderson was the 2011 recipient of ASCO’s highest award – the Karnofsky Memorial Award – in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in multiple myeloma research. He credited the improvements in outlook to the progress in identifying new drug targets and treatments, which have already made a significant impact on the way the disease is treated.