Stress in early pregnancy can lead to shorter pregnancies, more pre-term births and fewer baby boys

Stress in the second and third months of pregnancy can shorten pregnancies, increase the risk of pre-term births and may affect the ratio of boys to girls being born, leading to a decline in male babies. These are the conclusions of a study that investigated the effect on pregnant women of the stress caused by […]

New research links endurance exercise to damage in the right ventricle of the heart

Researchers have found the first evidence that some athletes who take part in extreme endurance exercise such as marathons, endurance triathlons, alpine cycling or ultra triathlons may incur damage to the right ventricles of their hearts – one of the four chambers in the heart involved in pumping blood around the body. The research, published […]

Researchers find a way to screen for broad range of cancer-causing genetic changes as part of routine clinical practice, bringing effective personalised medicine a step closer

Researchers in the United States have shown, for the first time, that it is possible to screen cancer patients for a broad range of cancer-causing genetic mutations as part of normal clinical practice. By identifying patients’ individual genotypes within a relatively short time frame, doctors are able to target tumours with the most appropriate therapy. […]

Removal of fibroids that distort the womb cavity may prevent recurrent miscarriages

Researchers have found the first, firm evidence that fibroids are associated with recurrent miscarriages. They have also discovered that if they removed the fibroids that distorted the inside of the womb, the risk of miscarriage in the second trimester of pregnancy was reduced dramatically – to zero. The study, which is published online in Europe’s […]

Researchers discover gene that is mutated in some blood cancers and predicts better survival

Stockholm, Sweden: Geneticists have discovered that a gene involved in the modification of ribonucleic acid (RNA) is mutated in a significant proportion of people with a collection of blood cancers called myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The researchers found that mutations in the SF3B1 gene tended to be associated with a better prognosis, raising the possibility that […]

Chemotherapy during pregnancy does not seem to cause developmental problems in children

Stockholm, Sweden: Children born after their mothers were treated with chemotherapy during pregnancy appear to be unaffected by the experience in terms of the development of their mental processes and the normal functioning of their hearts, according to new research presented at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress [1]. Professor Frederic Amant told the congress: […]

High blood pressure is linked to increased risk of developing or dying from cancer

Stockholm, Sweden: Raised blood pressure is linked to a higher risk of developing cancer or dying from the disease according to the findings of the largest study to date to investigate the association between the two conditions. Dr Mieke Van Hemelrijck told the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress [1] in Stockholm that there had been […]

Unequal access to cancer care can no longer be tolerated: radical change needed to deliver affordable care in developed countries

Stockholm, Sweden: Cancer is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity worldwide, and its economic burden grows year by year. In 2008, the worldwide cost of cancer due to premature death and disability, excluding direct medical costs, was estimated to be US$895 billion. An expert report from The Lancet Oncology Commission [1], a […]

Smaller, faster trials can improve cancer patient survival; new drugs could become available more quickly

Stockholm, Sweden: With the advent of personalised medicine, gains in cancer survival over the long term could be improved by running smaller, faster trials with less stringent evidence criteria, a researcher told the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress [1]. The introduction of targeted treatments means the traditional large-scale clinical trial is not always the most […]

Breast cancer tumour make-up changes through the course of disease; regular biopsies needed to ensure correct treatment in patients who relapse

Stockholm, Sweden: New research has found that breast cancer tumours change their hormonal status throughout the course of disease, whereas the decision about the most effective treatment for the patient is usually only based on one biopsy of the primary tumour. For some patients, biopsy verifications of any relapse will be very important because it […]