England unlikely to meet government’s 2030 smoke-free target

Last year, the Government set a target to make England smoke-free by 2030. But the ambitious target is unlikely to be realised until the Government tackles smoking in some of the most deprived communities in the country, which would include providing more funding for stop smoking services. The latest figures reveal that England is not expected to be smoke-free until 2037, while Scotland could also miss their smoke-free target by up to 16 years. The story was widely reported, and our press release has the details. 

The news comes the same week that the Marmot review reveals increasing health inequalities in England, read our blog post for more.

Tracing the toxic fingerprint of a bacterium in our gut  

The vibrant community of bugs that live in our gut can help protect us from harm. But certain bacteria have been linked to a range of disease, including cancer. Now, our Grand Challenge scientists have been able to link a toxic strain of bacteria to bowel cancer by studying their DNA ‘fingerprints’. The story was widely reported, and you can read our blog post for the details.  

‘Electronic nose’ could warn about higher risk of oesophageal cancer 

Researchers are developing a new way to diagnose Barrett’s oesophagus – a condition that can increase the risk of oesophageal cancer – reports The Guardian. The ‘electronic nose’, which distinguishes between people with and without Barrett’s oesophagus by detecting and analysing the molecules in their breath, is one of several less invasive tools being developed to detect Barrett’s oesophagus, some of which are already in clinical trials.

Report reveals huge variation in the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer diagnoses  

An ovarian cancer charity has warned of a huge discrepancy in the point at which women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer across the UK. In England, 1 in 5 women are diagnosed too late to be offered treatment. And the rate at which women receive an early diagnosis, when the disease is classified as stage 1 or 2, varies between 56% and 29% across England. These differences are often attributed to a lack of awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms amongst GPs and women. The Mail Online has the full story.

‘Chemotherapy-free’ treatment for lymphoma made available for NHS use in England 

A new ‘chemotherapy-free’ combination treatment has been made available for some adults with a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Our news report has the details.

More work is needed to ensure girls around the world have access to the HPV vaccine

Statistics from Public Health England indicate that infections of certain cancer-causing types of HPV fell by 86% among women aged 16-21 in England in the years since the vaccine was rolled-out in 2008. But 90% of deaths from cervical cancer happen in developing countries, many of which don’t have vaccination programmes. Writing for The Guardian, Nelly R Mugo asks why aren’t we doing more to protect women around the world?  

And finally 

Drugs made to treat one disease can often be effective in treating a different condition. And while this process is accessible to doctors, there are a number of barriers to drug repurposing. A study carried out in Scotland in 2005 found that those taking a drug conventionally used to treat diabetes were 23% less likely to get cancer. Sophie Cousins, writing for The New York Times, explores drug repurposing for cancer research.  

 

Lilly