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2016 editions

  • December 2016
    Joao Incio on mechanisms to explain why obesity promotes cancer.
  • November 2016
    Mike Stratton on how mutational changes in a cancer genome can point to the cause of the cancer.
  • October 2016
    Ruth Muschel on a new target for treatments for colorectal cancer.
  • September 2016
    Freddie Hamdy on the effectiveness of treatments for prostate cancer.
  • August 2016
    Moshe Oren discusses the effects of the microenvironment on cancer cells.
  • July 2016
    Richard Gilbertson on the 'bad luck hypothesis' for the cause of cancer.
  • June 2016
    Key advances in clinical trials.
  • May 2016
    Mark Lemmon on the underlying biochemistry of cancer.
  • April 2016
    Roger Stupp on using alternating electric fields as treatment.
  • March 2016
    Charlotte Vrinten on public perception of deaths from cancer.
  • February 2016
    Guillermo Garcia-Manero on myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
  • December 2015/January 2016
    Nazneen Rahman on germline genetic screening in ovarian cancer.

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EJC News Focus – July 2016

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Is cancer just bad luck?

The so called 'bad luck hypothesis' proposes that most cancers are caused by a random error in stem cell division – and therefore cannot be prevented by healthy lifestyles. The hypothesis has caused a furore in both scientific and lay media. It was originally derived from mathematical models, but then contradicted by other models. So where does the truth lie?

Richard Gilbertson, Director of the Cambridge Cancer Centre (UK), gave the keynote lecture at the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre's Annual Symposium in June 2016. He described laboratory work on stem cells which suggests it's the interplay between intrinsic factors (such as DNA replication) and extrinsic factors (such as smoking) that leads to cancer. In this month's EJC News Focus, he tells Helen Saul that the research on stem cells also backs up the emerging role of the immune system in cancer.