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In this report

We consider the latest in cell therapy and efforts to arm the immune system in the fight against cancer. Drug costs remain controversial; proton beam therapy wins favour over traditional radiotherapy; the drive is on for earlier detection. We look at how tobacco companies, retreating from wealthier parts of the world, are out to make big profits in developing countries.

Presidential example raises hope

Many experts believe a new type of drug promises to revolutionise treatment

Oncology leads in exploring epigenetics

Latest breakthroughs help create array of powerful drugs

New therapy re-engineers cells to destroy

Trials impress though safety and price questions remain

Julie Vose

Brakes off in effort to confront melanoma

Immunotherapy results ‘very positive’, says Asco president Julie Vose

State of the art: treatment centres cost $40m or more to set up

Proton beam technology targets tumours

Energy and direction better controlled than X-rays

Fast rising costs obstruct effective care

‘Financial toxicity’ side effects temper enthusiasm for latest treatment

Quality of life assists treatment

Palliative care might better be termed ‘supportive care’

Nanoscale: start-up Entopsis creates a molecular profile of patients

Researchers step up early detection drive

Ever more sophisticated means are used but can lead to problems of their own

Smoke clouds billow over developing world

Poorer countries lack wealth and political will to take on tobacco companies

Need to fight infections limits resources

Developing countries’ problems tend to push cancer treatment for children down priority list

2014

Focus on defence as best form of attack

The stratagem of stimulating the body’s immune system has found its moment

Big pharma back in the game it made

Harnessing a patient’s defence system to attack the disease has prompted excited reaction

Blockbuster oncology therapies are outwitted by natural selection

The future of treatment lies in using a range of drugs targeted at the individual patient

Doctors lead backlash against expensive drugs

Critics say there is too much focus on new therapies even when benefits are modest

Funds facing high risks hope for high rewards

With few medicines in early-stage development going on to reach market, the chances of picking a winner are low

Food for thought in the lifestyle changes that can prolong our lives

Relationship between diet and cancer is difficult to establish

Access to good therapy is big issue for patients in poorer nations

Treatments for diseases other than HIV have had far less attention from big pharma

Allow survivors to get their lives back

Patients who have won the battle against cancer should not face discrimination

Doctors may advise: ‘take your tablet to a consultation’

Patients can use digital technology to find information and get practical support

Therapy thinks small to deliver the heat to stubborn tumours

Microscopic particles take treatments to hard-to-reach places

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