The big news this week was the publication of our new statistics, showing that the rates of people being diagnosed with malignant melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer – are five times higher than in the 1970s. The surge is linked to a boom in package holidays to Europe during the late 1960s and the pursuit of the “must-have” tan. The Express and BBC were among the many media outlets to cover the announcement.
In the week’s other high-profile story, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) took the decision not to approve the breast cancer drug trastuzumab emtansine (also known as Kadcycla) – for use on the NHS in England. The reason? It’s too expensive. The Guardian and BBC have more on the announcement.
And the BBC followed the announcement with this interesting article outlining the process and pricing behind taking a new drug from discovery to approval.
But it wasn’t all bad news on the drug front – although it generated far fewer headlines, NICE also gave the thumbs up to two other drugs for NHS use – afatinib (Giotrif) for non-small cell lung cancer, and bortezomib (Velcade) for multiple myeloma.
Our scientists revealed how a key protein works as a cellular ‘dustman’ to bin potentially cancer-causing molecules in response to an experimental cancer drug. Huffington Post has this article, while here’s our press release, and the research paper.
A set of new online maps plotting data about diseases such as cancer alongside environmental risk factorslaunched this week. As the BBC points out, the maps can’t be used to pinpoint an individual’s risk, but they do offer a fascinating insight into patterns across communities. For more info take a look at our blog post.
New US research revealed that the levels of a molecule found in the lining of the bowel could point to who may benefit from a regular dose of aspirin to prevent bowel cancer. Our news story has more and here’s the research paper.
New European statistics predict a continued drop in cancer deaths in 2014 across Europe. But pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer in women, could buck this trend. The Independent covered the story, and here’s our news report and the research paper.
Some overenthusiastic headlines (perhaps drawn from this press release?) followed an interesting bit of early lab research looking at how a key protein linked to cell death could be targeted in some cancer cells, sensitising them to chemotherapy treatment. Here’s the research paper.
This blog post from The Guardian looks at the evidence on alcohol consumption and health, including a mention of the link between alcohol and cancer. For more info, take a look at our healthy living pages.
And this article from The New York Times followed the huge annual American Association for Cancer Research conference, focussing on the latest evidence on how what we eat links to cancer.
Nice to look at and – in some cases – an attractive addition to a meal: edible flowers featured in misleading headlines touting the cancer fighting properties of these blooms. As this excellent NHS Choices article makes clear, the research behind these headlines did not involve any people so the claims simply can’t be backed up.