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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Nov 25, 2011


A new study from Macmillan Cancer Support, a UK charity, shows that survival rates for breast, colon, and other cancers have improved "dramatically" over the last 40 years, reports The Guardian's James Melkle. However, the study also warns that there has been a lack of investment in other forms of the disease like lung, pancreatic, and brain cancers, which results in uncertain survival for patients. "The analysis of figures for 20 different cancers, based on London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine research, suggests overall median survival times in England and Wales — the time it takes until half those diagnosed have died — have improved from one year for those diagnosed in 1971-72 to 5.8 years for patients diagnosed in 2007," Melkle says. "Six cancers, including colon and breast cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, have median survival times of more than 10 years." But for nine other cancers, the average survival rate remains less than three years. Cancer Research UK's Peter Johnson tells Melkle that earlier diagnosis and specializations in surgery and chemotherapy will bring big improvements, but that cancer rates will increase as the population ages.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.