Brinkmann Gynaecology

News digest: obesity, ovarian drug disappointment & more

  • Women who take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs seem to have a lower risk of dying from cancer, according to results from another large study. But it didn’t prove that the drugs were truly behind the mortality reduction – here’s the report from Cancer Research UK and the Guardian’s take.
  • A couple of breast cancer drug trials showed promising results with two drugs that could offer extra options for doctors looking after women with advanced disease. Here’s the slightly overhyped take on the studies from the Daily Telegraphand Mail Online.
  • And experts said that obesity could overtake smoking as the leading cause of cancer, according to reports in the Mail OnlineDaily Telegraph and the Guardian.  Obesity increases the risk of developing all gynaecological cancers and the risk of womb cancer is increased by sixfold.
  • Frustratingly, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said ‘no’ to the ovarian cancer drug olaparib (Lynparza) in a preliminary decision over cost. Cancer Research UK's chief clinician described the decision as “difficult to understand”, while some of the researchers they supported to develop the drug – Professors Steve Jackson and Paul Workman – shared their disappointment.  See more on their blog here
  • This Daily Telegraph article looks at ‘alternative’ cancer therapies.
  • Wales followed England’s lead by introducing a ban on smoking in cars carrying children. The BBC has the details.
  • US scientists estimated the potential to reduce the number of women who need a second breast operation, by removing more tissue the first time around. The Daily Telegraph covered this, but it’s early days and further follow up from this research will be needed to see if there is any benefit to this approach.
  • Breastfeeding babies could lower their risk of leukaemia in later life, reports the Mirror following an analysis of several studies.
  • An expert panel assembled by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published an analysis of the risks and benefits of breast screening. It’s a complex issue, and there isn’t one definitive answer to the question of how the benefits and harms of breast screening stack up. The GuardianBBC and Daily Telegraph have more on this, and NHS Choices took an in-depth look at the findings.
  • Concerns about older people with cancer not being offered treatments that may benefit them were raised in the Mirror.
Thank you to Cancer Research UK for this information.