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Daily digest May 27 2015

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British doctors find new way to beat cancer

Scientists have the first proof that a ‘brand new’ way of combating cancer, using genetically modified viruses to attack tumour cells, can benefit patients, paving the way for a wave of potential treatments over the next decade.

Specialists at the NHS Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research confirmed that melanoma skin cancer patients treated with a modified herpes virus (the virus that causes cold sores) had improved survival – a world first, the Independent has reported.

In some patients, the improvements were striking because although all had aggressive, inoperable malignant melanoma, those treated with the virus therapy – known as T-VEC – at an earlier stage survived on average 20 months longer than patients given an alternative.

Read more on the Independent website

Suicide of father reopens debate on assisted dying law

There is a ‘powerful case’ for allowing people who fear having a severe disability to be helped to end their lives, a former health minister said yesterday.

Norman Lamb, who is standing to be Liberal Democrat leader, said that he could be convinced that assisted suicide should be legal after the case of Jeffrey Spector, 54, who killed himself at a Swiss clinic because he feared an incurable spine tumour would leave him paralysed. 

As reported in the Times, the case has reignited debate over the limits of assisted dying, as the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, seeks to revive a bill that would make it legal for doctors to help to end the lives of terminally ill patients with less than six months to live. 

(£) Read more on the Times website

MS: four in five multiple sclerosis sufferers in UK are misdiagnosed

Four in five people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the UK are misdiagnosed, with more than a quarter told incorrectly that they have a trapped nerve, a survey suggests.

The poll found that 39% of people with MS had waited more than a year for a correct diagnosis, prompting the MS Society to warn that too many people are suffering needlessly as a result of the delays, the Guardian has reported.

The 81% of people who said they were misdiagnosed by their GP would equate to 4,000 MS sufferers a year not having their condition correctly identified if mirrored in the general population. 

Read more on the Guardian website

Our lifestyles become stuck in a rut at just 25

More than a third of us are stuck in our ways by the age of just 25, with no desire to try anything new, the Daily Mirror has reported. 

Long before we hit our 30s, many people’s hobbies, friends, favourite travel destinations and food choices have already become set in stone, a Virgin Atlantic survey has found. 

Psychologist Samuel Nyman linked waning interest in new things to levels of activity as we age and said ‘the older we get the less likely we are to be physically active’. 

Read more on the Mirror website 

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