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  • A tribute to Professor Alan Clarke - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    January 7 2016 Cancer Research UK Credit Cardiff University We were shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden and untimely passing of Professor Alan Clarke who died while walking his dog shortly after Christmas Alan was a leading light in UK cancer research director of our Cancer Research UK Cardiff Centre and Cardiff University s European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute ECSCRI and an important figure in the Wales Cancer Research Centre WCRC His research focused on studying the genes and molecules that go wrong early in cancer development especially bowel breast and prostate cancers to understand how cancer cells become different from healthy cells and grow out of control In particular he was interested in cancer stem cells cells in tumours that often don t respond to standard treatments and which seem to fuel the disease s growth He and his team were investigating these cells in the lab to find new ways to stop cancer coming back after treatment and spreading around the body As director of our Cardiff Cancer Research UK Centre Alan was responsible for boosting research in the city and speeding up the translation of bright ideas in the lab to new treatments for patients Professor John Chester one of Alan s colleagues at Cardiff University and Director of the Wales Cancer Research Centre writes Alan will be missed greatly by very many of us He has been a scientist of genuinely international reputation and impact in his field As well as his outstanding scientific work he was central to so much that is good in cancer research in Cardiff and in Wales Beyond ECSCRI the Cancer Research UK Centre and WCRC he was an important figure in the development of the Wales Gene Park and a driving force behind the current genesis of the Wales Cancer Partnership Alan was an enormous asset to our reputation for excellent cancer research He was also blessed with many personal gifts too He had admirably co operative instincts with many laboratory and clinical collaborations partly because of his natural easy going style He also had an amazing ability to seem eternally patient calm and good humoured Once the initial period of shock and grieving is past we will need to work together even harder as a cancer research community to continue the forward momentum of all of Alan s excellent work In the meantime I am sure you will join me in expressing sincere condolences to his wife Kathryn his daughters Naomi and Lucy and to the many colleagues who will miss him in so many different ways Professor Jim Murray Head of the School of Biosciences at Cardiff said The sudden and untimely death of Professor Alan Clarke will be felt by all of us who knew him and the wider scientific community He was an invaluable colleague a patient and thoughtful mentor and an outstanding scientist and leader At this difficult time our thoughts are with Alan s family and his colleagues in Cardiff and

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2016/01/07/a-tribute-to-professor-alan-clarke/ (2016-02-11)
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  • The Patient Portal: putting information back in patients’ hands - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    about their tumour This was so they could re visit what their doctors had told them in the various appointments and process the information in their own time They expected that this would not only give them a better understanding of their diagnosis but also let them have better and more informed conversations with their doctors and carers Their plea was heard and we teamed up with both brainstrust and the NCRS to make it possible And thus the Patient Portal was born The Patient Portal The Patient Portal is a secure online system where patients can access the records the NCRS holds about them It allows patients to look at reports on samples of their tumour as well as details of their hospital visits and treatments and any other records held by the NCRS about them The portal also has a quality of life tool and space for users to add their own notes keep a list of contacts and directory of links to helpful information about support treatment clinical trials and research As well as potentially helping patients to understand their own diagnosis it also allows patients to flag up if something is missing or incorrect in their records to help improve the accuracy and quality of the data the NCRS holds But this will only be successful if patients actually want it and will use it To find out we originally launched the Portal in pilot form in November 2013 for brain tumour patients Then in July 2014 we extended to other cancer types with eleven clinical teams across England offering the portal to patients with melanoma brain bowel prostate and kidney cancer So what did we find out during the pilot Our findings so far As we outline in detail in the evaluation report we published today a quarter of patients who were asked said they wanted access to their cancer records a much higher proportion than expected And by the end of the pilot in March 2015 more than half of the 88 patients who signed up had accessed their records Although the number of patients included in the pilot was small the users of the portal were positive about the service with 86 per cent saying they would recommend it But while patients were on the whole in favour of the portal their doctors were more cautious They were concerned that it may heighten a patient s anxiety about their condition and patients may interpret reports they see via the portal differently to how it has been presented to them They also found it to be one more thing to do on top of an already busy workload and access to up to date computers in clinics was often a problem However all of the eleven clinical teams who helped with the pilot said they recognised the potential advantages of offering the portal to patients What next The pilot only involved a small number of patients and we would like to offer many more

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/06/10/the-patient-portal-putting-information-back-in-patients-hands/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Advice on being active should be routine in bowel cancer care - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    and gradually working towards the amount recommended for healthy people of two and a half hours a week of moderate physical activity e g walking cycling swimming which can be done in chunks Taken together the evidence that getting active can help after and even during treatment for bowel cancer is promising And it s also the case for other types of cancer there s good evidence that being active can help people recovering from breast and prostate cancer but more work needs to be done in other cancer types So that s why the results of our new study published today in BMJ Open give cause for concern We looked at information from a large national questionnaire of bowel cancer patients including information about how active they were and whether they were given any advice about being active Worryingly despite all the evidence of its benefit we found that the majority of bowel cancer patients didn t remember being given any information about being active Physical activity and exercise advice is not yet routine Our analysis looked at more than 15 000 bowel cancer patients in the UK When we looked in detail at the data more than two thirds 69 per cent of this group didn t remember being given any advice or information on physical activity or exercise And importantly these people were significantly less likely to say they kept active We also found that a third of the people in this group said they did no physical activity at all This supports the idea that activity advice from health professionals can be important in encouraging people to stay active as they recover from their treatment Our study is the largest of its kind but our findings are in line with other surveys carried out in the UK and abroad They also fit with a recent study from others in our group at the UCL Health Behaviour Centre in which a large number of UK health professionals who work with cancer patients said they weren t yet giving physical activity advice to their patients Of course patients recovering from treatment for cancer often get extremely fatigued and have many other side effects from the treatment which could leave them reluctant to get more active They may also be unsure whether it s safe to be physically active so may look to doctors and nurses for advice on this during and after their cancer treatment For this reason health professionals need clear guidance on the advice to give So how can we make such advice part of routine cancer care So what guidelines are out there Experts from the American College of Sports Medicine say that it s safe for doctors and nurses to recommend that in general any patient should avoid being inactive and should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week along with strengthening and stretching exercises twice a week But these are general guidelines and a number of things have to

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/04/29/advice-on-being-active-should-be-routine-in-bowel-cancer-care/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Dr Abi Fisher | Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    you Belfast Cardiff Edinburgh All locations By Researcher Professor Duncan Baird Professor Fran Balkwill 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 Author Dr Abi Fisher Author Dr Abi Fisher Advice on being active should be routine in bowel cancer care Category Science blog April 29 2015 Dr Abi Fisher Dr Abi Fisher from our UCL Health Behaviour Research Centre blogs about her recent paper looking at physical activity rates in people with bowel cancer 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 need to know How does alcohol cause cancer Headlines about e cigarettes don t mean

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/author/abifisher/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Larry | Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    you Belfast Cardiff Edinburgh All locations By Researcher Professor Duncan Baird Professor Fran Balkwill 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 Author Larry Author Larry Cancer the best way to die You couldn t be more wrong if you tried Category Science blog January 19 2015 Larry Larry is 59 and has advanced pancreatic cancer Here he responds to a recent article claiming that cancer is the best way to die As an oesophageal cance 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 need to know How does alcohol cause cancer Headlines about e cigarettes don t

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/author/larry/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Hormone Replacement Therapy - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    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 Hormone Replacement Therapy Topic Hormone Replacement Therapy No HRT isn t harmless there are risks as well as benefits Category Science blog October 20 2015 Fiona Osgun Yesterday saw some bold but extremely misleading headlines about hormone replacement therapy HRT being harmless This unfortunate statement flies in th Read More The causes of cancer you can control Category Science blog December 7 2011 Jess Kirby Can cancer be prevented Decades of research have shown that a person s chances of getting cancer depends on a mishmash of their genes and their environment Read More Why are breast cancer rates increasing Category Science blog February 4 2011 Henry Scowcroft Although more and more women are surviving breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and it has been on the rise for several years In 1999 42 400 wom Read More Older Posts Newer

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/risks-causes/hormones/hormone-replacement-therapy/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Dioxins and cancer – another piece of the chemical puzzle - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    people to other chemicals which can increase the risk of cancer too So teasing apart the role of individual chemicals is hard What these studies do tell us is that in principal certain dioxins can cause cancer but principal and practice can differ And the levels of dioxins that most people would be exposed to are far smaller than the levels used in this type of research Looking at people For most people the main source of exposure to dioxins is through food and drink So looking at diet dioxin intake and whether a person goes on to develop cancer helps us understand what s going on And the latest study has done just that studying over 63 000 French women The team analysed the women s diets estimating their dioxin intake and following them for 15 years on average to look for differences in the amount of dietary dioxins in those who developed breast cancer Overall 97 per cent of women were well within the safety limits for dioxin exposure set by the WHO and the European Food Safety Authority EFSA And even in women whose diets had the highest levels of exposure there wasn t an increased risk of breast cancer This is the first study of its kind to look at breast cancer risk and dioxin intake from food in people As with any scientific research replication of a result gives us more confidence in it This study gives us a good idea of how dioxin exposure might impact the health of the population but needs to be replicated And no study is perfect For this latest analysis information on diet was only collected once in 1993 Although the questionnaire used to collect information aimed to look back comprehensively over the past 12 months we can t be sure that a diet reported at the beginning of the study stayed the same throughout follow up So this study gives us a snap shot in time of diet but means we can t be sure that diets of the women studied didn t change which could have impacted on their dietary dioxin exposure The questionnaire was used to estimate the levels of dioxins in the women from this study so any change in diet body weight or levels of dioxins in food mean that the estimate could be less accurate But fortunately the levels of dioxins worldwide have decreased and are now a fraction of their levels in previous decades So how does the latest study fit into the bigger picture on dioxins and cancer Water everywhere but not a drop to drink One of the most persistent myths surrounding dioxins is that they leach from plastic water bottles causing cancer and other health issues There is something which may seem logical in the argument that plastics give off chemicals that are detrimental to our health The arguments are also often put forward using very emotive language and are falsely attributed to credible sources like Johns Hopkins University

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/03/17/dioxins-and-cancer-another-piece-of-the-chemical-puzzle/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Does oxygen cause lung cancer? I wouldn’t hold your breath - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    cancer like family history and occupational exposures to certain chemicals aren t properly accounted and controlled for Although the new study did try to account for smoking by looking at average rates in each state yet even this as we ll see below has problems One moment in time Ecological studies use data from the past So they also only give us a snap shot of one point in time But diseases like cancer can take decades to develop so while a snapshot can be a useful starting point it doesn t allow for things changing over time like people moving to live in different areas quitting or taking up smoking or anything else that can have a bearing on cancer risk So what about oxygen and cancer In this particular study one of the biggest problems is that because lung cancer takes many decades to develop the two sets of data they used aren t really comparable For instance the smoking rate data that the researchers use to account for the effects of smoking is from 1997 2003 But the figures for lung cancer incidence are from less than a decade later 2005 2009 This is a real problem because to accurately calculate how many of the cases of lung cancer are due to smoking you need to use data from 30 40 years ago You can see the time lag in the graph below This doesn t just mean the proportion of cases of lung cancer in the study linked to smoking is inaccurate It also leaves a gap in the data through which overinterpretation and exaggeration can slip in cases that could really be due to smoking become attributed to other unknown and mysterious risk factors Such as say a mythical inhaled carcinogen inherently and inversely tied to elevation The gold standard So we hope that given the above limitations you re reassured that you re not increasing your cancer risk by simply breathing From what we can tell it s likely that the link found in this paper between altitude and lung cancer is simply due to the failure to take smoking fully into account But at this point it may be sounding like we re impossible to please so what is it that we look for when we re examining scientific evidence Why do we pour scorn on this study but accept others as sufficient evidence around which to base awareness campaigns and lifestyle advice Here s a quick bluffers guide Accounting for other factors cancer risk is complex and there are many factors at play Checking that any results are down to the one factor that is being looked at requires properly taking into account all the other factors known to have an impact on cancer risk like lifestyle choices age gender etc Large numbers studying larger groups of individuals makes statistics more powerful we can be more confident that the results aren t just down to chance Un biased when conducting research it

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/01/14/does-oxygen-cause-lung-cancer-i-wouldnt-hold-your-breath/ (2016-02-11)
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