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Also in the press

Cold bug to fight cancer; new self-grown vein; exercise pill; and medical workers to strike

Thursday, 14 June 2012

COLD BUG TO FIGHT CANCER

Researchers are hopeful that reovirus, which usually causes colds or stomach upsets, may be used as a treatment to fight against diseases such as skin and breast cancer, reports the Daily Mail (p41).

Scientists at the University of Leeds are testing the virus on patients with head and neck cancers with early results described as "encouraging". The paper says reovirus hones in on cancerous cells and kills them, as well as kick-starting the immune system to fight the disease.

The Daily Telegraph (p2) also carries a brief article, adding that the virus is injected into the bloodstream "hitching a ride on blood cells" to the cancer, avoiding the immune system. Previous research had focused on injecting the virus directly into the tumour.

NEW SELF-GROWN VEIN

A 10-year-old girl has been given a vein grown from her own stem cells taken from her bone marrow, reports The Daily Telegraph (p14). Doctors at the University of Gothenburg injected the child's stem cells into a vein taken from a deceased donor, which had been stripped down to its protein scaffold.

It took two weeks for the vein to grow in an incubator. The operation was conducted a year ago and the girl does not need any immunosuppressant drugs to prevent her body from rejecting the vein, the paper says.

EXERCISE PILL

A pill that makes people want to exercise could combat obesity, reports The Daily Telegraph (p10). It says tests in mice show the hormone Epo (erythropoietin) increases the motivation to be active, offering a potential treatment for obesity and other conditions such as depression.

MEDICAL WORKERS TO STRIKE

Hundreds of staff at the British Medical Association are to stage a one-day strike on June 20 over pay, reports The Times (p46). The strike will come a day before doctors take industrial action in their row with the government over pensions, the paper says.

In a short article, the paper says the GMB union represents around 400 workers at the BMA.

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