On the occasion of World Cancer Research Day on 24 September, the Science Media Centre Spain organised an information session on mass screening. At the meeting, researchers Adrian Aginagalde, Isabel Portillo and Juan Carlos Trujillo explained how mass screening is studied, analysed its advantages and disadvantages, explained how its implementation is decided and what new developments we can expect.
A standard chemotherapy drug injures surrounding noncancerous cells, which can awaken dormant cancer cells and promote cancer growth, according to a study published today in the journal PLOS Biology.
Reaction: Cancer cases in individuals under 50 years of age have increased globally over the last three decades.
Since 1990, the incidence and deaths from early-onset cancers in teenagers and young adults have substantially increased worldwide. These are the main findings of a study published today in the BMJ Oncology journal.
A US study measures the risk of breast cancer overdiagnosis in screening campaigns for women over 70. These are women who are misdiagnosed with cancer after a mammogram, leading to unnecessary treatments that can cause complications, anxiety and financial costs. The study includes more than 54,000 women over the age of 70 who have had a screening mammogram. The retrospective analysis compares the cumulative incidence of breast cancer between two groups: women who continued screening up to 15 years later, and women who did not. The research estimates that 31% of breast cancer cases in women aged 70-74 result from overdiagnosis: it finds 6.1 cases per 100 women who had continued screening, compared with 4.2 cases per 100 women in the second group. The percentage of overdiagnosis increases with the age of the women. The article is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, along with an editorial.
A randomized trial of more than 80,000 Swedish women has shown that artificial intelligence is as good as two specialized radiologists working together when it comes to detecting breast cancer, without increasing false positives and reducing the workload by almost half.
Reactions: aspartame sweetener is classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans, although the acceptable daily intake remains unchanged
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) have published a health impact assessment of the sweetener aspartame. Citing "limited evidence" of carcinogenicity in humans, IARC has classified aspartame as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B). For its part, JECFA has not changed the acceptable daily intake of this sweetener, which is set at 40 mg/kg body weight. According to these bodies, with one can of diet soft drink containing 200-300 mg aspartame, a 70 kg adult would need to consume more than 9-14 cans per day to exceed the acceptable daily intake - assuming no other intake from other dietary sources.
Reaction to the study associating an increased risk of ovarian cancer with professions such as hairdressing and beautician
A Canadian study has examined whether there is a link between occupation and risk of ovarian cancer. After analysing data from nearly 500 women diagnosed with the disease and nearly 900 controls, they found that working for more than ten years in professions such as hairdressing or beauticians triples the risk of ovarian cancer. The risk also increases in occupations such as accountants or those related to the textile industry. The results are published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine.
Reaction to Reuters report that the sweetener aspartame is to be declared "possibly carcinogenic to humans" by IARC
Reuters has reported that aspartame, one of the most common artificial sweeteners, will be listed as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organisation, in July.
A team of scientists led by the University Hospital Zurich (Switzerland) has tested a new treatment for glioblastoma, a highly aggressive nervous system tumour with a poor prognosis. The therapy consists of a fusion protein that combines the TNF factor - a key factor in the processes of inflammation and immune response - with an antibody that targets the tumour matrix. The researchers, whose results are published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, have studied its action together with a type of chemotherapy both in mice and in six patients included in a phase 1 clinical trial.
Most high-income countries do not have prostate cancer screening programmes for their entire population; prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests can be done on an individual basis. In an opinion piece published in The BMJ, a group of urologists and epidemiologists specialised in prostate cancer screening argue for restricting the use of PSA tests to avoid over-detection and over-treatment.