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New team to develop radiotherapies that target cancer more effectively

Safer precision radiotherapies that will be able to cure more cancers with fewer side-effects will be available within five years under ambitious new plans for research and treatment at the UCL Cancer Institute and University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust.

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Cancer drug could treat blood vessel deformities

A drug currently being trialled in cancer patients could also be used to treat an often incurable condition that can cause painful blood vessel overgrowths inside the skin, finds new research in mice led by UCL, Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center in New York and the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) in Barcelona.

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New drug shows promise against muscle wasting disease

A new drug to treat the muscle wasting disease inclusion body myositis (IBM) reverses key symptoms in mice and is safe and well-tolerated in patients, finds a new study led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases at UCL and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Tumours contain the seeds of their own destruction

Scientists at UCL have made a groundbreaking discovery in understanding how the genetic complexity of tumours can be recognised and exploited by the immune system, even when the disease is at its most advanced stages.

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Resistance to key HIV drug ‘concerningly common’

HIV drug resistance to tenofovir, an antiretroviral drug vital to most modern HIV treatment and prevention strategies, is surprisingly and worryingly common according to a large study led by UCL and funded by the Wellcome Trust.

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Early chemotherapy improves survival for men with prostate cancer

Two papers from UCL show that having early chemotherapy improves survival for men with prostate cancer. The papers, published in the Lancet and Lancet Oncology, report the results from the STAMPEDE clinical trial and a meta-analysis.

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Improving treatment for systemic amyloidosis

A potential new approach to treat systemic amyloidosis, invented at UCL and being developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), marks the start of a successful and innovative academic-industry collaboration.

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UCL to coordinate £16m project to crack difficult disease areas

UCL has successfully coordinated a £16 million bid to work with the Medical Research Council (MRC), GSK and four other universities to improve scientists’ understanding of inflammatory and fibrotic diseases that present a serious burden to patients.

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Many overweight teenagers do not recognise they are too heavy

More than a third of overweight or obese teenagers don’t see themselves as being too heavy and think their weight is about right, according to a UCL study published today in the International Journal of Obesity.

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New treatment for polycystic kidney disease

A new technique for treating polycystic kidney disease has been identified by researchers based at the UCL Institute of Child Health. Published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the treatment, which involves targeting tiny blood and lymphatic vessels inside the kidneys, is shown to improve renal function and slow progression of disease in mice.

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Smoking induces early signs of cancer in cheek swabs

DNA damage caused by smoking can be detected in cheek swabs, finds research published today in JAMA Oncology. The study provides evidence that smoking induces a general cancer program that is also present in cancers which aren’t usually associated with it – including breast and gynaecological cancers.

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New test could identify resistant tuberculosis faster in London

Tuberculosis (TB) disease rates in some parts of London are as high as in Sub-Saharan Africa, and drug-resistant strains are becoming increasingly common. These require specific treatments, and if doctors know that a bug is resistant they can start therapy earlier, often leading to better outcomes.

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New role uncovered for ‘oldest’ tumour suppressor gene

Scientists have revealed a brand new function for one of the first cancer genes ever discovered – the retinoblastoma gene – in a finding that could open up exciting new approaches to treatment.

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Weight discrimination has major impact on quality of life

Weight discrimination is linked to significantly lower quality of life, and accounts for approximately 40% of the negative psychological effects associated with obesity, finds new UCL research funded by Cancer Research UK.

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The first fine-scale genetic map of the British Isles

Many people in the UK feel a strong sense of regional identity, and it now appears that there may be a scientific basis to this feeling, according to a landmark new study into the genetic makeup of the British Isles.

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Cancer fear can impact screening uptake

People who worry about cancer are more likely to want to get screened for colon cancer, but feeling uncomfortable at the thought of cancer makes them less likely to actually go for the test, finds new UCL-led research.

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£14M to develop HIV self-testing in southern Africa

A partnership involving UCL has been awarded £14M to accelerate access to simple self-tests in African countries. Self-testing for HIV using rapid diagnostic kits is becoming increasingly widely used, allowing high-risk people to test their own HIV status in private.

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