Articles Archive: September - October 2014 Issue 62

Editorial - If you want better drugs consult a PRO

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Our systems for evaluating new therapies are only as good as the accuracy of the judgements we make about how far patients benefit and how far they feel the burden of side-effects and other drawbacks. In this Editorial we welcome moves on both sides of the Atlantic to include patientsÂ’ own assessments into evaluation procedures, and draw attention to opportunities to engage with these efforts.

Cover Story - Shelley Dolan: walking alongside patients

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Nurses are not the only ones who care and can nurture, support and explain things to patients who are scared and vulnerable, says pioneering cancer nurse Shelley Dolan. But they are the only health professionals to have this as their key role, and she is calling for Europe to do everything possible to empower them.

Cutting Edge - Deconstructing evolution: can number crunchers find the answer to resistance?

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Is there a logic, a pattern, a system behind the way cancer cells adapt to develop resistance to agents designed to kill them? Cancer research is calling on systems biologists to see if they can make sense of it all.

Best Cancer Reporter Award - Cancer and inequality: bringing the message home

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Why do fewer people die of cancer in my neighbourhood than on the other side of town? Steve Buist of the Hamilton Spectator asked this question of his home city in southern Ontario, and used a variety of local data and sources to find answers. The story he told, using interactive maps and personal stories, won him the Best Cancer Reporter Award 2014. We reprint an edited extract.

Patient Voice - A seat at the table: patient advocates prepare for life on the inside

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Little by little, patient advocates are winning their battle to be involved in decisions that affect them. They are now focusing on how to use their new-found voice to deliver real change for the people they represent.

Spotlight on... - Learning the art of leadership

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A course teaching leadership skills to cancer clinicians is proving a hit among the growing number of oncologists now finding themselves being asked to take on management roles.

e-Grand Round - Accreditation of breast centres: why and how

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The European Commission is developing a Europe-wide accreditation scheme for breast centres to push up standards of diagnosis and care. Here experts from both sides of the Atlantic take a look at existing schemes, the criteria they use and the challenges in applying them across diverse populations.

Focus - The letter to which I couldn't reply

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With all the investigations, imaging and testing involved in personalising treatments, it can be hard to remember to listen to what the patient is saying. One doctor keeps a letter with him as a permanent reminder.

Impact Factor - Dropping bars or rising hoops – phase III outcomes of NSCLC

Over the past three decades, the interpretation of clinical trial outcomes in studies of advanced-stage non-small-cell lung cancer has changed. The robustness of findings from these trials has been called into question. We believe this change is a reflection of the improved understanding of molecular-based therapeutics and continued advances in this field.

Newsround - Newsround

Selected reports edited by Janet Fricker