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Suppressing gene 'reduced cancer spread by 80%'

We showed that suppressing this gene reduced the spread of cancer by more than 80%.

Our next goal was to then find a way to suppress Bcl3 pharmacologically. Despite great improvements in therapy of early stage breast cancer, the current therapeutic options for patients with late stage metastatic disease are limited.

There is therefore a clear unmet clinical need to identify new drugs to reverse or at least to slow down disease progression.

– Dr Richard Clarkson from Cardiff University's European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute

Drug to halt breast cancer to be tested

File photo of a picture of a mammogram.
File photo of a picture of a mammogram. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

An experimental drug that can virtually halt the deadly spread of breast cancer has been tested by scientists.

Researchers are now working with a biotechnology company to prepare the compound for patient trials.

The new research builds on previous studies of a gene called Bc13 that appears to play a critical role in the spread of breast cancer.

Scientists at Cardiff University conducted computer simulations to work out how Bc13 functioned and then blocked it.

In tests on mice, the researchers first deleted the gene and then explored ways of inhibiting it with a drug.They found the right candidate compound by screening a library of chemicals until one was found that could target Bc13.

When mice with metastatic breast cancer were treated with the compound, the spread of tumours to the lungs and other parts of the body was dramatically reduced.


Botched breast cancer surgery scandal 'a tragic story'

Women with breast cancer were seriously harmed and were victims of "weak and indecisive leadership from senior managers" at a hospital trust in the West Midlands, a damning report has concluded.

A review into what happened at Solihull Hospital - part of the Heart of England NHS Trust - found a "tragic story" that is also a story of "secrecy and containment".

File photo of a breast cancer scan.
Up to 400 women are thought to be suing the trust and a private firm for failing to take action. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Lawyer Sir Ian Kennedy, who led the review, said breast surgeon Ian Paterson, who has been suspended by the General Medical Council, was allowed to carry on operating on women for several years despite a series of concerns raised about him by other medical staff.

Up to 400 women are thought to be suing the trust and a private firm for failing to take action over the claims.

The review found that some of the women were exposed to a risk of cancer coming back after Mr Paterson performed only partial mastectomies.


Task force to be set up to address Kennedy breast cancer review

In January a task force will be set up to address the recommendations in Sir Ian Kennedy's review into unnecessary and incomplete breast cancer operations at the Heart of England Trust. The Trust says it is aiming to implement the recommendations within six months.

It says it has recalled all of Ian Paterson’s mastectomy patients and is continuing to follow-up those requiring additional review. It says this this will be for 15 years - a longer period than normal

12 experts have now been asked to conduct a wider review in to all the surgeon's patients.


'Shocking' report into breast cancer operations at Heart of England Trust

The findings of a report in to failures over breast cancer operations at the Heart of England Trust have been described as “shocking” and the Trust says it has offered a full and unreserved apology to both patients and staff.

Ian Paterson, a breast surgeon who was eventually suspended by the GMC, carried out unauthorised surgical procedures without the consent of his patients, over a number of years.

The Trust Chairman, Lord Philip Hunt, said:

“We give a full and unreserved apology to all of the patients and their families, for the way they were both mistreated by Mr. Paterson whilst he was a surgeon at the hospital, and subsequently let down by the Trust’s management team at the time.

We also apologise to staff and other professionals who raised concerns about Mr. Paterson’s practices - but were not listened to by the former leadership team.

We sincerely hope that both patients and staff feel that the commissioning and publication of Sir Ian’s independent Review along with our commitment to openness, and to the full implementation of his Recommendations, provides reassurance of our determination to prevent this reoccurring.”



Review into incomplete breast cancer operations to be published

The review is being published today Credit: David Jones/PA Archive

A review is being published in to how a breast cancer surgeon performed incomplete breast removal operations on women. The operations took place at Solihull and Good Hope Hospitals.

Ian Paterson was a consultant at Solihull hospital and practised privately throughout the West Midlands. He was suspended by the General Medical Council in 2011.

Call for plain cigarette packaging after new cancer data

Plain cigarette packaging should be introduced to help lower the amount of people dying from lung cancer, a leading health charity has said.

Macmillan Cancer Support made the renewed call for the reintroduction of the controversial policy, amid a Government review into the effectiveness of plain packaging.

Read more: Cigarettes plain packet review

Chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, Ciaran Devane said:

Lung cancer patients deserve better. It is high time we closed the gap between survival rates for different cancers and give everyone the best possible chance of recovery.

Firstly, we support the call for plain packaging of cigarettes to stop people taking up smoking, secondly we must catch the illness earlier through better awareness and we have to make sure access to surgery is more uniform across the country to reduce inequalities in cancer survival.

It cannot be right that you are much more likely to get the surgery you need if you live in Leicestershire than if you live in Lancashire.

– Chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support Ciaran Devane

Deaths from three common cancers will 'almost halve'

The number of people dying from three common cancers - breast, prostate and bowel - is expected to almost halve by the end of the decade, according to findings from a leading health charity.

Cancer cells
Mortality rates in breast, prostate and bowel cancers have improved since 1992, according to Macmillan Cancer Support. Credit: Reuters

Over a third, 36%, of breast cancer sufferers will succumb to the disease, a 61% drop in the mortality rate from 1992, Macmillian Cancer Support found.

A further 39% of people with bowel cancer would die, down from 67% in 1992.

However, the lung cancer mortality rate remains high, with 76% of patients expected to die from the disease, compared to 91% in 1992.

Professor Jane Maher, chief medical officer of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "People diagnosed with three of the four most common cancers are more likely to survive but GPs need more support to help them diagnose lung cancer earlier."

Read more: UK cancer survival rates 'low'

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