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New treatment approach for Oesophageal Cancer

Patient receiving radiotherapy treatment Credit: PA

A new treatment approach for tackling cancer of the food pipe (oesophagus) has been developed by researchers at Cardiff University and Velindre NHS Trust.

Oesophageal Cancer is widely considered to be one of the most difficult cancers to treat, with 8000 new diagnoses in the UK every year, or over 150 people a week.

Supported by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) funding, researchers are now trialling a combination of ground-breaking radiotherapy techniques and two different chemotherapy drugs before surgery, in an effort to improve survival rates for patients.

For patients who are suitable for surgery, doctors can either treat them with chemotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemo-radiotherapy) before their operation.

Recent studies have shown that chemo-radiotherapy, delivered with new radiation technology and different combinations of chemotherapy drugs, may be safer and more effective than chemotherapy alone.

Following the trial, patients will have their tumour surgically removed and will be monitored by a research team for up to 12 months.

Doctors will look at the side-effects experienced by patients, how long they remain free from cancer, and whether patients show spread of cancer to other parts of the body.

Dr Gareth Griffiths, Director of CRUK Wales Cancer Trials Unit at Cardiff University said,

"It will give us the evidence to determine whether to investigate this new treatment in a larger number of patients which could show a benefit to patients in terms of survival and could ultimately change routine practice in the UK."


University: 'Strike action is regrettable'

The University has taken steps to minimise the impact and plan to maintain services as far as possible. All University buildings will be open. There may be some minimal disruption to opening times for some University buildings, postal services and teaching. Any changes to the teaching schedule will be communicated directly via Academic Schools.

"It is regrettable that the Trade Unions have decided to take this action. Pay negotiations are conducted at a UK level and we would encourage the Trade Unions to continue dialogue within the agreed national procedures."

It is regrettable that the Trade Unions have decided to take this action. Pay negotiations are conducted at a UK level and we would encourage the Trade Unions to continue dialogue within the agreed national procedures.

– Cardiff University Spokesman

University staff to strike over 1% wage rise

A picket line is expected to be held at Cardiff University. Credit: PA

Higher Education workers are due take strike action this morning in response to a pay offer of a 1%.

UNISON Cymru says it will be taking industrial action and holding a picket line at Cardiff University alongside Unite and University and College Union.

Simon Dunn, UNISON Cymru/Wales higher education lead, said, "Some of our members in higher education are not even paid a living wage and most have experienced a real term drop in wages of almost 15%. That is bound to have a devastating impact on people's lives.

"And to add further insult to injury, Chief Executives' and Vice Chancellors' pay is extremely generous, with the highest paid vice chancellor in Wales receiving £264,000 a year."

New genes linked to Alzheimer's

In the largest ever study of its kind, scientists, jointly led by Cardiff University, say they have uncovered 11 new susceptibility genes linked with Alzheimer's disease.

They say the breakthrough will significantly advance knowledge of Alzheimer's, and allow new research to be undertaken.

This discovery will pinpoint new mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's disease...What surprised us most about the findings was the very strong pattern that showed several genes implicating the body's immune response in causing dementia.

We will now turn our attention to people with early onset Alzheimer's - people in their 40s and 50s afflicted with more severe forms of the condition. Their genetic architecture may hold the key to finding yet more genes involved in Alzheimer's.

– Julie Williams, Cardiff University Head of Neurodegeneration


Cardiff University working on finding new antibiotic

A team of scientists at Cardiff University are working on finding a new class of antibiotics.

No new class of antibiotic has been discovered for 26 years.

No new class of antibiotic has been discovered for 26 years. Credit: PA

Scientists are worried that we have become too 'familiar' with taking antibiotics and that we take them for granted - using them for ordinary ailments like coughs and colds.

It is hoped that a new class of antibiotic would take the place of current ones that bacteria are becoming immune to.

Cardiff University to offer online courses

FutureLearn has teamed up with the university Credit: Cardiff University

Cardiff University is the first Welsh university to partner with FutureLearn, offering open online courses.

FutureLearn is the first UK-led provider of massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Starting next year, Cardiff University's first MOOC will be 'Muslims in Britain: Changes and Challenges'.

Professor Patricia Price, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Student Experience and Academic Standards at Cardiff said: "We're pleased to be one of the first universities to join FutureLearn and to lead the sector in Wales.

"We're now delighted to see this exciting initiative launch which provides further opportunity to extend access across the world to our high quality education experience.

"Cardiff's first MOOC will start in 2014, delivered by the pioneering Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK."

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