Securing a cancer workforce for the best outcomes

Cancer Research UK|November 2018 |Securing a cancer workforce for the best outcomes: the future demand for cancer workforce in England

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has published Securing a cancer workforce for the best outcomes: the future demand for cancer workforce in England, this document comes in response 

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Image source: cancerresearchuk.org

To successfully anticipate workforce needs in cancer, it is essential to consider both how
many patients are expected to be diagnosed and treated in the future, and the likely areas in which cancer services will change. As such CRUK wanted to explore the future demand for staff in more depth, to demonstrate how this approach could be taken in a long-term plan for the workforce. CRUK  wanted this to highlight the scale of increase required to meet the future needs of cancer patients, as well as consider what impact potential changes in services could have on staffing requirements in the NHS. CRUK commissioned 2020 Delivery to develop the model that we used to generate these estimates (Source: CRUK). 

The document argues that:

  • A demand-led approach is needed;
  • staff numbers may need to double to meet demand;
  • changes in the NHS will need even more staff;
  • a long term plan for the workforce (is needed)

Read the full publication at CRUK

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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Image source: cancerresearchuk.org

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

Advancing Care, Advancing Years: Improving Cancer Treatment and Care for an Ageing Population 

Cancer Research UK | June 2018 | Advancing Care, Advancing Years: Improving Cancer Treatment and Care for an Ageing Population 

A new report presents the findings of  research commissioned by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and conducted by the University of Birmingham’s Health Services Management Centre and ICF International, which sought to understand the specific needs of older patients, and to explore the process of clinical decision-making for older people with cancer across the UK.

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This research involved a literature review, clinical observations at eight case study sites, interviews with 15 national decision-makers and 80 health professionals, and three UK-wide surveys (of primary care professionals, secondary care professionals and older people affected by cancer). The direction of the research was also informed by engagement with a group of older people affected by cancer, and by extensive engagement and interviews with national policymakers.

This research involved a literature review, clinical observations at eight case study sites, interviews with 15 national decision-makers and 80 health professionals, and three UK-wide surveys (of primary care professionals, secondary care professionals and older people affected by cancer). The direction of the research was also informed by engagement with a group of older people affected by cancer, and by extensive engagement and interviews with national policymakers.

The report is available from CRUK 

Trial to test new treatment combination for children and adults with Leukemia

University of Birmingham | June 2018 | Trial to test new treatment combination for children and adults with Leukaemia

A clinical trial testing a new treatment combination in patients with leukaemia launches through the Combinations Alliance, a joint initiative between Cancer Research UK and the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMC) Network based at University of Birmingham.

Researchers want to discover whether pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and MSD’s experimental medicine, selumetinib (AZD6244, ARRY-142886), can be effective in combination with a treatment, dexamethasone, already used for several conditions including leukaemia.

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This clinical trial, the first of its kind to include both adults and children is based at the  Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Birmingham. This trial is planned to open in 23 centres throughout the UK and in 11 additional centres in 6 European countries, to help recruit 42 patients.

Professor Josef Vormoor, international clinical lead for the trial, said: ‘Although there are effective treatments for leukaemia, for some patients, the disease can return after they have been treated. If this combination is successful, it could give us an urgently needed new way to treat patients who have relapsed and have few treatment options left.’ (Source:University of Birmingham)

The full press release can be read at the University of Birmingham’s website 
Further details on the clinical trial are available from Cancer Research 

Study identifies ‘three evolutionarily distinct types of kidney cancer’

The Francis Crick Institute |  April 2018  | ‘Killer’ kidney cancers identified by studying their evolution

Three new studies funded by Cancer Research UK have led scientists to better understand that kidney cancer follows a specific evolutionary path. The first two studies involved the analysis of more than 1,000 tumour samples from kidney cancer patients (n equal to 100)  to reconstruct the sequence of genetic events that led to the cancer in each patient. Their analysis gave rise to the three evolutionarily distinct types of kidney cancer and each has its own path:

  • The first type never acquires the ability to become aggressive
  • The second tumour type forms the most aggressive tumours, evolving through a rapid burst of genomic damage early on.  This enables the tumour all it needs to spread to other regions of the body.
  • The third tumour spreads over a longer period of time and are made of different populations of cancer cells, some of which are aggressive

Dr Samra Turajlic lead author of the study said: “The outcomes of patients diagnosed with kidney cancer vary a great deal – we show for the first time that these differences are rooted in the distinct way that their cancers evolve.

“Knowing the next step in cancer’s evolutionary trajectory could tailor the treatment choice for individual patients in the next decade. For instance, patients with the least aggressive tumours could be spared surgery and monitored instead, and those with gradually evolving tumours could have the primary tumour surgically removed even after it has spread.”

 

The Francis Crick Institute have created a video to accompany this press release

The third study found that events that trigger kidney cancer can take place in childhood or adolescence years before the primary tumour is diagnosed.

Dr Peter Campbell, corresponding author of this study said: “We can now say what the initiating genetic changes are in kidney cancer, and when they happen.” (The Francis Crick Institute).

The full news story can be read at The Francis Crick Institute website

All of the articles are published in Cell and can be read by following the links

 Turajlic, S. et al  |Deterministic Evolutionary Trajectories Influence Primary Tumor Growth: TRACERx Renal

 Turajlic, S. et al |Tracking Cancer Evolution Reveals Constrained Routes to Metastases: TRACERx Renal

 Turajlic, S. et al | Timing the Landmark Events in the Evolution of Clear Cell Renal Cell Cancer: TRACERx Renal

 

In the media

BBC News Why some cancers are born to be bad 

Will cancer ever be cured?

Cancer Reseach UK:  Science Surgery series  

Answering this question isn’t a simple case of ‘yes’ or ‘no’, because it depends on the way that the term ‘cancer’ is defined. The word ‘cancer’ is singular, but it reflects more than just one disease. It should actually be viewed as an umbrella term for a collection of hundreds of different diseases. They all share the fundamental characteristic of rogue cells growing out of control, but each type of cancer, and each person’s individual cancer, is unique and comes with its own set of challenges.

That’s why it’s very unlikely that there will be one single cure that can wipe out all cancers. But, as explained in the short animation below, that doesn’t mean individual cases of cancer can’t be cured:

Read more at Cancer Research UK

Trial to test new drug in patients with advanced cancer

Cancer Research UK launches trial to test new drug in patients with advanced cancer | Cancer Research UK

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A clinical trial to test a new cancer drug in patients with advanced solid tumours, launches in four centres across the UK, through Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development.

This early phase trial will test the safety and tolerability of the drug and establish the recommended dose for patients with a variety of cancers including advanced bowel, lung, ovarian, urothelial, pancreatic, breast, head and neck, and oesophageal cancer.

In the first part of the trial, groups of patients will receive increasing doses of the drug, called LY3143921 hydrate, to find the safest dose that best targets the cancer cells. The drug, discovered by Eli Lilly, was brought to Cancer Research UK through the charity’s Clinical Development Partnership scheme.

In the second part, larger groups of patients will receive the highest tolerated dose, so that researchers can investigate how the drug is working on the cancer cells.

The drug has not yet been tested in people but has shown promise in mice by selectively inhibiting Cdc7, a protein that helps cells to reproduce correctly.

Full story at Cancer Research UK