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  • Early detection policy - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    Professor Andrew Biankin See all researchers More Our research history Our research strategy FUNDING FOR RESEARCHERS Our funding schemes Biomarker Project Awards Career Development Fellowship Grand Challenge award View all schemes and deadlines Applying for funding Start your application online Guide to filling in your application form How to make a successful application Funding committees Manage your research grant Manage your grant online Guide to managing a grant online Notify us of new publications Update your profile How we deliver research Our research strategy Our institutes Our centres Our research partnerships More Drug discovery and development Recently funded awards Researcher case studies ABOUT US What we do We beat cancer We fundraise We develop policy Our organisation Our strategy Our Trustees CEO and Executive Board Annual report and accounts Annual review Current jobs Graduates and interns Your development Benefits Cancer news Science blog Latest press releases Latest news reports Search all news More Contact Us Press office Publications HOME ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT US NEWS RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Topic Early detection policy Topic Early detection policy Could new NHS diagnostic centres tackle vague cancer symptoms Category Science blog February 3 2016 Louise Bartelt We take a look at a series of projects looking to tackle vague cancer symptoms and hopefully diagnose more cases earlier Read More The ten defining moments in health and cancer policy from 2015 Category Science blog December 21 2015 Lucy Absolom We look back on a busy year for health and cancer policy Read More Spending Review 2015 will it affect research and cancer Category Science blog November 25 2015 Roxy Squire We respond to today s Spending Review and outline what the announcement means for cancer services in the NHS and for science Read More NCRI cancer conference day 1 prostate cancer drugs and early diagnosis Category Science blog November 1 2015 Nick Peel We pick out our highlights from day one of the NCRI cancer conference Read More New data on how patients are diagnosed what does it tell us Category Science blog September 16 2015 Henry Scowcroft We look at welcome new stats published today show that the number of cancer patients diagnosed in an emergency is falling Read More Great news as Government signals backing for cancer plan Category Science blog September 13 2015 Sara Bainbridge Our reaction to today s announcement from the Department of Health to back some key elements of the recent cancer strategy Read More Dr Giles Maskell waiting a month or more for scan results is shocking Category Science blog September 6 2015 Cancer Research UK President of the Royal College of Radiologists Dr Giles Maskell shares his reaction to our new report on medical imaging services Read More Older Posts Newer Posts Popular posts Most read today Most discussed Don t believe the hype 10 persistent cancer myths debunked How does alcohol cause cancer Processed meat and cancer what you

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/policy/detection-policy/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Health service policy - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    Andrew Biankin See all researchers More Our research history Our research strategy FUNDING FOR RESEARCHERS Our funding schemes Biomarker Project Awards Career Development Fellowship Grand Challenge award View all schemes and deadlines Applying for funding Start your application online Guide to filling in your application form How to make a successful application Funding committees Manage your research grant Manage your grant online Guide to managing a grant online Notify us of new publications Update your profile How we deliver research Our research strategy Our institutes Our centres Our research partnerships More Drug discovery and development Recently funded awards Researcher case studies ABOUT US What we do We beat cancer We fundraise We develop policy Our organisation Our strategy Our Trustees CEO and Executive Board Annual report and accounts Annual review Current jobs Graduates and interns Your development Benefits Cancer news Science blog Latest press releases Latest news reports Search all news More Contact Us Press office Publications HOME ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT US NEWS RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Topic Health service policy Topic Health service policy Could new NHS diagnostic centres tackle vague cancer symptoms Category Science blog February 3 2016 Louise Bartelt We take a look at a series of projects looking to tackle vague cancer symptoms and hopefully diagnose more cases earlier Read More Should the NHS publish data on cancer surgeons Category Science blog January 11 2016 Misha Gajewski We take a look at the pros and cons of publishing cancer surgeons mortality data Read More Obesity and cancer time for concerted action Category Science blog January 7 2016 Dan Hunt Our new report on trends in obesity contains some alarming findings We take a look at it s key conclusions and recommendations Read More The ten defining moments in health and cancer policy from 2015 Category Science blog December 21 2015 Lucy Absolom We look back on a busy year for health and cancer policy Read More Spending Review 2015 will it affect research and cancer Category Science blog November 25 2015 Roxy Squire We respond to today s Spending Review and outline what the announcement means for cancer services in the NHS and for science Read More Reforming NICE and the Cancer Drugs Fund four key changes we want to see Category Science blog November 19 2015 Zoë Molyneux As NHS England and NICE put forward proposals to reform the way cancer drugs are approved and paid for we outline our thinking on this controversial topic Read More Unacceptable cancer waiting times are testing patients patience Category Science blog November 12 2015 Emily Maxwell Today s new data on cancer waiting times paint an alarming picture we take a detailed look at what the statistics show Read More Older Posts Newer Posts Popular posts Most read today Most discussed Don t believe the hype 10 persistent cancer myths debunked How does alcohol cause cancer Processed meat and cancer what you

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/policy/health-service-policy/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Signs and symptoms - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    all researchers More Our research history Our research strategy FUNDING FOR RESEARCHERS Our funding schemes Biomarker Project Awards Career Development Fellowship Grand Challenge award View all schemes and deadlines Applying for funding Start your application online Guide to filling in your application form How to make a successful application Funding committees Manage your research grant Manage your grant online Guide to managing a grant online Notify us of new publications Update your profile How we deliver research Our research strategy Our institutes Our centres Our research partnerships More Drug discovery and development Recently funded awards Researcher case studies ABOUT US What we do We beat cancer We fundraise We develop policy Our organisation Our strategy Our Trustees CEO and Executive Board Annual report and accounts Annual review Current jobs Graduates and interns Your development Benefits Cancer news Science blog Latest press releases Latest news reports Search all news More Contact Us Press office Publications HOME ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT US NEWS RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Topic Signs and symptoms Topic Signs and symptoms Could new NHS diagnostic centres tackle vague cancer symptoms Category Science blog February 3 2016 Louise Bartelt We take a look at a series of projects looking to tackle vague cancer symptoms and hopefully diagnose more cases earlier Read More Our new advertising campaign encourages people to Spot Cancer Sooner Category Science blog November 2 2015 Anoushka Periyan Our new advertising campaign serves as a reminder of how easy it is to not to notice changes when we re busy Read More How are cancer patients diagnosed And could it be better Category Science blog September 11 2015 Grace Redhead We take an in depth look at the different ways patients are diagnosed and how understanding and collecting this information can help improve cancer care Read More New NICE GP guidelines have huge ambition and potential Category Science blog June 23 2015 Dr Richard Roope A practising GP shares his thoughts on the new National Institute of Health and Care Excellence NICE guidelines for suspected cancer published today Read More Diagnosing cancer earlier the latest research from the 2015 NAEDI conference Category Science blog April 2 2015 Misha Gajewski We pick the highlights from this year s National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative NAEDI conference Read More The challenges of diagnosing cancers earlier a GP s perspective Category Science blog March 20 2015 Dr Richard Roope A GP shares his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities of diagnosing cancer earlier Read More The importance of diagnosing cancers earlier the patients perspective Category Science blog March 19 2015 Grace Redhead We speak to four cancer patients about their experience of being diagnosed and why diagnosing more cancers earlier is an important priority Read More Older Posts Newer Posts Popular posts Most read today Most discussed Don t believe the hype 10 persistent cancer myths debunked How does alcohol cause cancer Processed meat and

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/diagnosing-cancer/signs-and-symptoms/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Could new NHS diagnostic centres tackle vague cancer symptoms? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    several non specific symptoms which could be a result of a different types of cancer or other diseases entirely As Helena Rolfe a GP from Airedale explains if patients have symptoms like coughing up blood from the lung we know that there is a team of respiratory experts that will be able to see them quickly and to work out what s wrong But if patients have symptoms like weight loss or feeling very tired and nothing else is really changing that rapidly we worry because there must be a reason they re not feeling well but there isn t an urgent specialist that deals with these kinds of symptoms One country that s tried to tackle this issue is Denmark and it s to the Danish health system that England is turning to for answers The Danish Experience Denmark has a similar health service to the UK where GPs make referrals for diagnostic tests In 2010 research carried out as part of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership ICBP showed that both Denmark and the UK lagged behind the rest of Europe in terms of cancer survival Part of Denmark s strategy to address this issue was to set up a way of referring patients with non specific symptoms of cancer making sure these patients have appropriate tests quickly They call it a Multi Disciplinary Diagnostic Centre MDC In Denmark an MDC is a place where a GP can refer their patients if they are unsure what type of cancer they might have says Peter Vedsted a Professor of Diagnostics in Denmark Where you say This person is ill I don t know what it is but I need this patient to be thoroughly evaluated What s special about this kind of centre is that rather than a patient going back and forth to see different specialists the specialists are all gathered in one place so that various different tests can be done as soon as possible and discussed in meetings with each specialist present As well as the potential to shorten the time patients wait for tests to be booked it s likely to be cheaper too reducing multiple appointments and unnecessary tests leads to a more efficient use of resources In the old system there were a lot of possible routes between the GP and specialists in the hospital he says What happens now is that GPs can refer to one centre where you can efficiently use these specialities when you need them All testing is made during one day if possible How a diagnosis might work in the new centres He stresses that this system has really been designed for the benefit of the patient so they have much shorter waiting times before tests are carried out On top of this patients with worrying symptoms have a system that responds to their concerns offering different options and not leaving people to worry We won t say well it wasn t my problem and you go home and

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2016/02/03/could-new-nhs-diagnostic-centres-tackle-vague-cancer-symptoms/comment-page-1/ (2016-02-11)
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  • The route to ‘precision’ medicine – four key challenges we need to meet - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    met and soon there are now hundreds of experimental drugs in trials designed to target particular faulty driver mutations Finding out whether these drugs work in practice will require a lot of clinical trials and accurately and ethically recruiting patients to these trials means working out whether they re likely to benefit in the first place 2 Will experimental treatments actually work in a given patient This discussion led to a second hot topic around the level of confidence doctors can have that a given experimental treatment will work in a given patient Consider the drug vemurafenib designed to target cancers driven by a faulty version of the BRAF gene Success in the lab led to trials showing that the drug can be highly effective in patients with advanced melanoma It s now routinely available on the NHS But what about in other cancer types BRAF mutant bowel cancers also seemed sensitive to the drug in the lab but when this was tested in patients with BRAF mutant bowel cancer it only worked for a minority Further research revealed the reason why and how to overcome this but the story highlights that there are different levels of certainty behind the rationale for targeting different mutations Professor Andre suggested there needs to be an internationally agreed categorisation system where for a given gene mutation doctors and patients can understand the level of evidence that a particular experimental treatment is likely to work and thus whether this is sensible to trial Fabrice Andre druggable mutations access to cancer therapies and levels of evidence for actionable mutations pic twitter com baR5e9XZ7h Charles Swanton CharlesSwanton October 23 2015 What we really need is to assign different mutations a category based on the level of evidence that they re linked to a particular cancer he told the conference This he says would not only help doctors make better decisions it would also allow for better design and interpretation of clinical trials The take home message was that the clinical research community needs to get a lot smarter in how it categorises mutations and what s known about targeting them This will allow for better designed trials and more transparent discussions as patients consent to take part 3 Which tests should we use It s now quicker and cheaper than ever before to plot out a cancer s entire DNA genome Other forms of analysis collectively known as omics technologies can look at the levels of molecules like RNA or proteins in samples of a patient s tumour But despite the falling price and speed of these tests they can still result in terabytes of complex information needing specialist and thus time consuming interpretation In the lab these technologies have transformed researchers ability to tease out cancer s secrets But when it comes to the real world urgency of treating patients there isn t time to wait months or even years for results of these complex careful analyses So the third key challenge is how to

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2016/01/13/the-route-to-precision-medicine-four-key-challenges-we-need-to-meet/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Counting copies: HER2 and the development of Herceptin - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    than their non cancerous counterparts But Dr Gullick s study went one step further and showed for the first time that not only was the HER2 gene over represented in breast cancer cells but the HER2 protein was also found at unnaturally high levels He discovered this using antibodies that specifically recognise the HER2 protein revealing exactly where it is and how much is there Working with another of our researchers Dr Diana Barnes from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Unit at Guys Hospital Dr Gullick found that tumours with the most copies of the HER2 gene also had the most protein And he found that areas of tumours that were starting to spread had more HER2 protein than other areas This was different from other studies as it showed a direct match between having too many copies of the gene and levels of the subsequent protein and that this correlated with how aggressive the tumour was Today around one in eight women with breast cancer in England and Wales are diagnosed with HER2 positive disease adding up to many thousands of women in the UK and many more worldwide with this type of cancer The next step was to turn this laboratory finding into new hope for these patients From HER2 to Herceptin The Herceptin antibody Most drugs work by blocking or interfering with the activity of a protein molecule So the fact that the HER2 protein was present at a very high level in some breast cancer cells highlighted it as a good target for potential drugs to treat HER2 positive tumours Building on the research from our scientists and others around the world Dr Mark Sliwkowski and his colleagues at the biotechnology company Genentech developed a way to target HER2 with an antibody the same kind of molecule that Professor Gullick first used to reveal the location of HER2 in cancer cells The antibody blocked the receptor activity of HER2 stopping it transmitting signals into the cells that made them grow and divide This eventually became the drug Herceptin also known as trastuzumab Herceptin was approved as a drug for HER2 positive breast cancer in 1998 10 years before Sadie got her diagnosis Sadie s treatment Sadie had surgery chemotherapy and radiotherapy before she started Herceptin treatment It wasn t the easiest road for her to walk down as she explains The long haul began I wrote be brave a faint heart never won the day on my first day of chemotherapy but my resolve was tested as I became more and more unwell during the treatment Would I make my daughter s graduation and my nephew s wedding Both of which required photos and I d lost my hair But as the months went by I started to look and feel a bit more normal After all I d got cancer but it had not got me Sadie started Herceptin treatment in 2009 getting the drug every 3 weeks Because it can sometimes affect the heart

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2013/09/20/counting-copies-her2-and-the-development-of-herceptin/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Targeting the Ras protein – a small but exciting step forward - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    only starts transmitting signals under extremely tightly controlled circumstances But in cancer it loses the need to be stimulated from outside and constantly broadcasts its signals It s as if your aerial socket detached from the aerial on your roof had gained a life of its own and was forcing its own distorted deadly TV shows onto your TV screen Ras in cancer Years of research has shown that over a quarter of all cases of cancer are driven by faulty Ras proteins And in some types of cancer notably pancreatic cancer it s more like nine out of ten cases Clearly a drug that switches Ras proteins off in cancer cells could be a potent weapon against a range of cancers Drugging Ras For the last 25 years researchers have tried to find a way to do just that with little success They have however learnt a huge amount about how Ras and the proteins in its network work Much of this knowledge particularly of proteins like BRAF which like Ras becomes permanently switched on in certain cancers has yielded targeted drugs like vemurafenib which has recently been approved to treat melanoma But Ras itself has remained stubbornly resistant to the best efforts to target it To understand why we need to look at how drugs are developed and how a new technique fragment based drug design is broadening the range of targets that researchers can work on A spanner in the works In recent years drug design has involved looking for a particular region of a target protein that carries out a particular reaction and literally sticking something in it to stop it working like sticking a faulty key in a lock This works very well for proteins like enzymes which tend to have a precise and defined lock called the active site into which it is usually possible to stuff a molecular key and mess things up But Ras doesn t work like that When Ras interacts with one of its partners it passes on its message through an interaction between its unique three dimensional shape and that of its target more like hand in hand than key in lock Trying to target the interaction between two proteins rather than a small crevice was generally thought to be too challenging for current research techniques Enter fragment based drug design From locks and keys to sticky stuff Rather than starting with large and complicated keys to try to find one that will fit nicely into the protein s lock a fragment based approach starts off with much smaller simpler molecules and looks for ones that stick much more weakly to the target The development of fragment based drug discovery has relied on access to extremely sensitive techniques with weird and wonderful names like surface plasmon resonance and nuclear magnetic resonance to measure these weak interactions Once researchers have found these small slightly sticky molecules they can gradually build them up making them larger and more complicated until they

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2011/12/04/targeting-the-ras-protein-a-small-but-exciting-step-forward/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Tracking down the BRCA genes (Part 1) - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    UK team then The Cancer Research Campaign led by Professor Doug Easton pulled together the results from all the linkage studies around the world In a paper published in 1993 they analysed the combined data from more than 200 families affected by breast and ovarian cancer Their results narrowed down the search to a smaller region of chromosome 17 and showed that a faulty gene in this region accounted for most of the families affected by many cases of breast and ovarian cancer But it also confirmed that there must be other breast cancer genes lurking elsewhere a story we ll return to in part 2 Now that Professor Easton s team had confirmed that that the region on chromosome 17 definitely harboured a breast and ovarian cancer gene and it had been reduced to a much more manageable size the BRCA1 race was on Go First out of the blocks was a team including The Cancer Research Campaign s Cambridge based Human Cancer Genetics Research Group led by Professor Bruce Ponder who went on to become the first director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute In May 1994 they published a paper narrowing down the possible BRCA1 containing region even further In August that year Ponder s team together with colleagues in the US published a paper in the journal Nature Genetics detailing a map of the region on chromosome 17 pinpointing more than 20 genes within it that were possible candidates for BRCA1 Not only was this a paper map the scientists had also built a physical map made up of small pieces of DNA spanning the region cleverly smuggled into yeast and bacterial cells so they could be studied in the lab This map laid out the racecourse All that was needed now was to read the sequences of these DNA fragments piece them together into whole genes and then work out which gene had the same faults as those seen in women with hereditary breast cancer Though it sounds simple it was a massive task A number of research groups around the world threw their efforts into the race all angling for the prize of finding the first breast cancer gene Announcing the winners Throughout 1994 various teams published papers describing how they were inching ever closer to the prize but by October the race was over First across the line was a team of US scientists led by Professor Mark Skolnick Writing in the journal Science the team revealed the identity of the gene now known as BRCA1 proving that it was faulty in a number of families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer Although reports at the time talked about winners and losers in the race to track down the gene the ultimate winners are cancer patients and their families From genetic testing to targeted treatments we ll take a look at the benefits of finding the BRCA genes in part 2 of this series It s also important to remember

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2012/02/28/high-impact-science-tracking-down-the-brca-genes-part-1/ (2016-02-11)
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