Research says that men who drink 7 cups of tea a day are 50% more likely to develop prostate cancer

The Telegraph reported that a research study at Glasgow University  has said that men who drink a lot of tea a day are 50 per cent more likely to develop prostate cancer

Glasgow University found that people who drink more than seven cups of tea are at a much higher risk of getting the disease than those who consume three cups or fewer.

The warning comes after scientists at the University of Glasgow tracked the health of more than 6,000 men for four decades.  The participients were aged between  21 and 75 were asked to complete a questionnaire about their usual consumption of tea, coffee and alcohol as well as their smoking habits and general health, and had to attend a screening examination.

Dr Kate Holmes, head of research at The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: ‘Whilst it does appear that those who drank seven or more cups of tea each day had an increased risk of developing prostate cancer, this did not take into consideration family history or any other dietary elements other than tea, coffee and alcohol intake……It is therefore unclear as to whether there were other factors in play which may have had a greater impact on risk.

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A new state-of-the art microscope will revolutionise the detection of cancer in Scotland

The Scotsman.com has reported that a NEW state-of-the art microscope is currently under construction at the Edinburgh Cancer Research UK Centre at the city’s Western General Hospital. This new microscope will revolutionise the detection and treatment of cancer in Scotland by giving scientists the ability to track rogue cells as they move around the body.

This £400,000 microscope, one of only two in the world (the other one is at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts)  uses “vibrational” images to allow researchers to see deep into active cancer cells, giving a unique view of how the disease spreads.  Most cancer deaths are caused when diseased cells migrate within the body – a process called metastasis – and develop as secondary tumours. The new equipment will help researchers establish if a cancer has spread, and whether drugs might prevent this.

 Dr Alan Serrels who is a Cancer Research UK scientist is building the microscope with colleague Andy Downes from the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.  Serrels said: “This microscope allows researchers to see what’s going on deep within living tissue. By spying on the inner workings of cells in this way, it will reveal clues as to how cancers grow and spread, as well as allowing scientists to directly witness the effects of treatments on tumours. The work will significantly improve our understanding of metastasis and reveal opportunities to develop new treatments to stop cancer in its tracks.”

It is hoped the technology will eventually lead to the development of new treatments to stop the disease spreading.

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Scientists transform skin cells into immune cells

As reported by the BBC, Scientists at Oxford University have transformed skin cells into immune cells.

This discovery, which was made in the laboratory has sparked hopes that one day cancer patients’ own skin could be used to help fight their tumours.

The research focused on dendritic cells which are key in organising the immune response as they tell the immune system where to attack by showing identifying markets or antigens.

This study has strengthened previous research by Cancer Research UK as Dr Caeutano Reis e Sousa, and immunology expert, explains, “By showing that normal body cells can be reprogrammed to become a sub-type of dendritic cells with superior activity, this research builds on previous work by Cancer Research UK scientists using blood stem cells as starting material.”

Now this exciting discovery has been made, the real challenge now is to establish whether or not these cells which were made in the lab, can be used for cancer treatments in the clinic.

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Sanofi and Dendreon Battle for UK Market

Sanofi, a leading pharmaceutical company, has launched new cancer drug Jevtana in the UK, reports inpharm.com.

EMA approval was granted after extensive phase III trials which indicated the drug extended the life of men suffering from a type of prostate cancer considerably. It also slowed the time it took the cancer to progress compared to standard chemotherapy drugs.

However, Sanofi will face competition from US firm Dendreon, as they seek to launch their drug Provenge into the European market. Ultimately, Provenge extends the patient’s life further and reduces the risk of death by nearly 25%, though it would cost £25,000 more to treat a single patient than Jevtana, so would struggle to be able to convince NICE that it is worth the extra cost.

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Spicy foods to kill cancer cells

Scientists at the University of Nottingham have discovered the key to the ability of spicy foods to kill cancer cells. They found capsaicin, an ingredient of jalapeno peppers, triggers cancer cell death by attacking mitochondria – the cells’ energy-generating boiler rooms. By binding to proteins in the cancer cell mitochondria they trigger apoptosis, or cell death, without harming surrounding healthy cells.

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