Nobel prize for medicine goes to cancer therapy

BBC News | October 2018 | Nobel prize for medicine goes to cancer therapy

Two immunologists, Prof Allison, of the University of Texas, and Prof Honjo, of Kyoto University, as the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for Medicine. The pair will share the Nobel prize approximately $1.01 million or £775,000. The scientists have been awarded the prize in recognition of their discovery of how to fight cancer using the body’s immune system. Their award is significant as it is the first time in the prize’s history that the development of a cancer therapy has been recognised with a Nobel prize. 


Accepting the prize, Tasuku Honjo told reporters: “I want to continue my research … so that this immune therapy will save more cancer patients than ever.”

Prof Allison said: “It’s a great, emotional privilege to meet cancer patients who’ve been successfully treated with immune checkpoint blockade. They are living proof of the power of basic science, of following our urge to learn and to understand how things work.”(Source:BBC News)

See also:

The Guardian James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo win Nobel prize for medicine

Financial Times Cancer researchers win Nobel Medicine Prize

Reuters Nobel Prize in medicine awarded for groundbreaking cancer research

Obesity set to become the biggest preventable cause of cancer for females

Cancer Research UK |September 2018| When could overweight and obesity overtake smoking as the biggest cause of cancer in the UK?  

Cancer Research UK report that overweight and obesity are on track to overtake smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer in UK women in around a quarter of a century, if current trends continue as projected. 


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The study is the first attempt to quantify and compare the future smoking- and overweight and obesity attributable cancer burdens.  Cancer Research UK projects that smoking and overweight and obesity could cause 20,000 more cancer cases by 2035 than the 75000 cases in 2015.  In seventeen years’ time  one-tenth of cancers in women (around 25,000 cases) could be caused by smoking and just less than one-tenth (around 23,000 cases)  attributed to excess weight.




Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert, said:

“Obesity is a huge public health threat right now, and it will only get worse if nothing is done. The UK Government must build on the lessons of smoking prevention to reduce the number of weight-related cancers by making it easier to keep a healthy weight and protect children, as those who are overweight are five times more likely to be so as an adult.

The report has been released to coincide with the launch of the charity’s UK-wide campaign to increase awareness that obesity is a cause of cancer (Source: Cancer Research UK).

Cancer Research UK [Press release] Obesity could overtake smoking as biggest preventable cause of cancer in women

Cancer Research UK  [Report] When could overweight and obesity overtake smoking as the biggest cause of cancer in the UK?   

See also: OnMedica Obesity as cause of cancer set to overtake smoking

NICE approves new treatment for high-risk skin cancer

NICE |  September 2018 | NICE approves new treatment for high-risk skin cancer

Dabrafenib with trametinib is recommended, within its marketing 
authorisation, as an option for the adjuvant treatment of resected stage III
BRAF V600 mutation-positive melanoma in adults.

There are currently no adjuvant treatments available for stage III BRAF
V600 mutation-positive melanoma and there is a substantial risk of the
cancer returning and becoming incurable. Dabrafenib with trametinib is a
new adjuvant treatment aimed at curing the cancer by reducing the
likelihood that it will spread. It is therefore an important development in
managing stage III melanoma. (Source: NICE)

Of interest:

OnMedica  NICE approves new treatment for high-risk skin cancer

European Head & Neck Cancer Week

Make Sense Campaign | Head and neck cancer can leave anyone feeling unrecognisable

This week 17 – 21 September 2018 is European Head & Neck Cancer Week. The Make Sense Campaign is raising awareness of Head & Neck Cancer across Europe, led by the European Head and Neck Society (EHNS). 

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Information about the signs and symptoms are available from Make Sense Campaign 

There are a number of Survivor stories 

Download the toolkit  here 

Among the resources for patients with head and neck cancer is a cookbook created by survivors, which provides information on nutrition and guidance on cooking tasty, nutritious meals here

You can follow the campaign on Twitter @MakeSenseCmpn

Cancer Insight – Smoking Cessation

Cancer Research UK has published a newsletter focusing on smoking cessation aimed at community pharmacy teams.

The latest edition provides information on the safety of e-cigarettes, the power of very brief advice and the most successful ways to quit smoking. The magazine also doubles up as a poster to provide different options for quitting smoking.

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Cancer Research UK also has a number of practical resources for health professionals on smoking cessation which pharmacy teams may find useful, especially if teams are planning to participate in Public Health England’s 28-day stop smoking campaign, Stoptober, which launches on 20 September.

Full document via Cancer Research UK