Cancer updates

1-4 November 2015 

2015 National Cancer Research Institute Cancer Conference, The BT Convention Centre, Liverpool, UK. 

28 October 2015 

Early cancer diagnosis variation 'unacceptable' – CRUK found "unacceptable variation" between different areas after reviewing cases in 2012 and 2013.  

16 October 2015 

ICR develop new test to predict relapse of testicular cancer. 

15 October 2015 

£100 blood test to target cancer. Results of a first-phase clinical trial were carried out on 39 patients at the Royal Marsden cancer hospital in London and published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. 

15 October 2015 

New test could help personalise treatment for common childhood cancer.  

13 October 2015 

Blood clots contribute to deaths of 4,000 cancer patients a year, all-party parliamentary thrombosis group warn. 

12 October 2015 

Cancer Research UK is offering £100m in research money for international scientists to come up with new approaches to beating cancer. 

7 October 2015

Cancer Research UK has invested £15m to inspire collaborative cancer research between scientists across the UK through a new awards scheme.  The CRUK Centres Network Accelerator Award is a new initiative which provides infrastructure support to research centres in order to encourage collaboration between different organisations and boost ‘bench to bedside’ science. Four centres have received a 5 year grant:

  • Queens University Belfast (£3.9m): to develop new pathology and image analysis techniques for solid tumours. This includes research to improve cancer diagnosis through tissue imaging, biomarker discovery, and clinical trials. The award will also invest in the next generation of scientists with a Clinical Fellowship programme in molecular pathology.
  • The University of Leicester (£1.7m): to set up facilities to study structural biology among centres to improve drug development. The award will focus on research to translate the understanding of structural biology into drugs that could treat patients.
  • The Francis Crick Institute (£4.2m): to support more experimental cancer research and create Clinical Research Fellowships to help unite different research centres in London. This will help
  • University College London £5m) to help advance immunotherapy research   

25 September 2015 

Genetic clue to breast cancer relapses. A research team from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge found that cancers that return were more likely to contain certain genes or combinations of genes. The study was presented at the European Cancer Congress in Vienna.  

24 September 2015 

Cancer Research UK and Linguamatics announced today they will work on a joint project to apply Linguamatics’ natural language processing (NLP) text analytics platform, I2E, to automatically extract clinical attributes from cancer pathology reports and improve annotation of clinical samples relating to Cancer Research UK’s Stratified Medicine Programme.   

22 September 2015 

Dr Suzy Lishman, President, The Royal College of Pathologists, letter (heavily edited) in The Sunday Times.   

16-17 September 2015 

4th annual Cancer Vaccines Conference in London. Widely recognised as one of the most profitable areas of drug development, the global market for cancer vaccines is expected to grow to $4.3 billion by 2019 with revolutionary cancer treatments on the horizon  

18 September 2015 

Findings of latest Atlas of Variation in Healthcare include place-based disparities in timing of cancer diagnoses and willingness of GPs to prescribe antibiotics.
See Cancers and Tumours section p.52-72 

15 September 2015 

White Paper launched to step up fight against pancreatic cancer by European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM). 

14 September 2015 

New cancer target: from 2020 people with suspected cancer to be diagnosed within 28 days. Government has pledged an extra £300m a year to give patients a definitive cancer diagnosis within 28 days of referral by a GP by 2020, the health secretary announced today. Jeremy Hunt, health minister announced that the £300m will be spent on diagnostics, a national recovery package and a HEE training programme – out of the £8bn promised for the NHS in the budget in April. The NHS will identify five hospitals across the UK to pilot the new target before the programme is rolled out nationally to cover all cancers by 2020. The programme also includes plans to reduce unnecessary chemotherapy sessions by giving 25,000 genetic tests to identify the most suitable treatment, and offering a tailored recovery package to those diagnosed with cancer. 

September 2015 

Article by Sarah May, IBMS Deputy Chief Executive Earlier diagnosis: a national ambition. “It really is time that pathology was brought in from the cold and recognised for the valuable diagnostic service it delivers and the downstream savings that can be achieved by its early and appropriate usage”.

14 September 2015 

Cancer blood-test launch raises eyebrows.  A US start-up called Pathway Genomics has launched the first commercial 'liquid biopsy' to identify cancerous mutations via a blood test. Pathway will market directly to healthy people who have a high risk of developing cancer and claim that they can help people achieve an early cancer diagnosis – for $699 (£450). For that money, the CancerIntercept test will look for 96 mutations in nine major cancer-driver genes whose presence could come from circulating tumour DNA, released from dying cancer cells.

'It's like a cancer stethoscope,' explains the promotional video on Pathway's website.

13 September 2015 

NHS patients with suspected cancer will be diagnosed faster under new measures for treating the disease, Jeremy Hunt has announced. 

9 September 2015 

Institute of Cancer Research suggests nearly half of testicular cancer risk comes from inherited genetic faults. 

3-4 September 2015 

Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy Congress in London which will focus  on the theme of “Advancement in Cancer diagnosis, treatment and challenges in organ specific cancer treatment”.  

3 September 2015 

A new online training course designed to raise awareness of the symptoms of blood cancer among GPs is set to radically improve the rate of early diagnosis, bringing the UK up to EU standards and potentially saving around 1,000 lives a year.  

September 2015

CRUK commissioned report Scoping the future. Evaluating endoscopy capacity across the NHS in England. 

26 August 2015 

ICR scientists say they’ve developed a blood test for breast cancer that could predict a relapse months before tumours form again. Science Translational Medicine  26 Aug 2015: Vol. 7, Issue 302, pp. 302ra133.