Health News

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Turning more than one page

Cancerworld (EU) - 18/09/2017
Readers of our printed edition will have noticed that a new chapter has begun in the life of our magazine. We are dedicating our cover stories to exploring the big topics in oncology that define our era, starting in this issue with a look at the under-reporting of toxicities associated with new drugs. A group of talented young illustrators has been tasked with capturing the essence of each story, and their artwork will appear on the cover of every issue.

Tipping the balance

Cancerworld (EU) - 18/09/2017
Questions are being raised about the accuracy and integrity of reports from pivotal clinical trials that provide the evidence for licensing cancer drugs. There is increasing concern that reports overstate the effectiveness of innovative drugs in a real world setting, because patients on trials are healthier and fitter than most of the people it will be used in, and understate side effects. This distorts the information used by clinicians to define the recommended dose, by regulators to assess the risk–benefit profile, and by patients to choose between treatment options.

A strategic moment

Cancerworld (EU) - 18/09/2017
Prevention is better than cure, and nowhere is that more true than for cancer, where cures are not always attainable, treatment not always affordable, and the short- and long-term side effects can be severe. In light of what we now know about cancer’s extraordinary ability to mutate in all directions and to outwit every therapy we come up with, strategies aimed at intervening as early as possible in processes that lead to tumour formation make perfect sense.

Fedro Peccatori: teaching the world to care

Cancerworld (EU) - 18/09/2017
“There is no difference between my work at the hospital and my work at the European School of Oncology.

Unleashing the potential of prevention

Cancerworld (EU) - 18/09/2017
Knowledge is power. And knowledge about what to do to lower the risk of developing cancer has the power to save lives. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, at least half of the world’s cancers are preventable on current knowledge alone. And IARC’s new European Code Against Cancer (published in this issue of Cancer World) takes the evidence about the exposures, agents and behaviours that definitely cause cancer and turns it into advice for the general public.

Multiparametric MRI in prostate cancer

Cancerworld (EU) - 18/09/2017
This egrandround was first presented by Caroline Moore, from University College Hospital London, as a live webcast for the European School of Oncology. It is edited by Susan Mayor. The webcast of this and other e-grandrounds can be accessed at Until the last few years MRI was used essentially as a staging tool in prostate cancer, with imaging being performed after a biopsy to assess a patient’s suitability for radical treatment and for assessing extraprostatic extension and disease.

A journey to the heart of the EMA

Cancerworld (EU) - 18/09/2017
Ten years ago, an opportunity arose for Hildrun Sundseth to help develop the patient voice in the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the EU agency responsible for the evaluation of medicinal products. She had long advocated for women’s health and saw this as a chance to change things gradually for her cause. “Women are very much underrepresented in clinical trials,” says Sundseth, who was the head of EU Policy at the European Cancer Patient Coalition at the time.

The road to global cancer care

Cancerworld (EU) - 18/09/2017
The world is experiencing new and powerful forces in global health, from the Sustainable Development Goals, and ‘grand convergences’ to what is now the central totem in global health – universal health coverage. For cancer control, context is everything, and it still needs to find its place within these wider agendas. Cancer is a very new addition to global health, which has been built almost entirely on the platforms of infectious disease, including HIV/AIDS, child and maternal health and other health aspects of the development agenda.

Bridging the gap in metastatic breast cancer

Cancerworld (EU) - 18/09/2017
More than one in four people say they would prefer it if people with advanced breast cancer kept it to themselves and did not talk about their condition to anyone but their doctor. This was one of the findings of the Global Status of Metastatic Breast Cancer Decade Report 2005–2015, and it helps explain many of the report’s other key findings: namely, that far too many people living with advanced breast cancer are still not getting the information and support they need. That’s not to say that nothing has improved over the 10-year period covered by the report.

Cognitive effects of endocrine therapy

Cancerworld (EU) - 18/09/2017
This is an abridged version of W Zwart, H Terra, S Linn, S Schagen. Cognitive effects of endocrine therapy for breast cancer: keep calm and carry on? Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology (2015) 12:597-606. It was abridged by Janet Fricker and is published with permission. © 2015 Nature Publishing Group. doi:10.1038/nrclinonc.2015.124 Three quarters of breast cancer patients are eligible to receive endocrine treatments – tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors (letrozole, exemestane and anastrozole).

How doctors die

Cancerworld (EU) - 18/09/2017
Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopaedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This surgeon was one of the best in the country. He had even invented a new procedure for this exact cancer that could triple a patient’s five-year-survival odds – from 5% to 15% – albeit with a poor quality of life. Charlie was uninterested. He went home the next day, closed his practice, and never set foot in a hospital again.