News round-up (10 September)

man looking at online news headlines
9th September 2021 about a 4 minute read

The importance of “collecting, connecting and sharing” which was stressed during FCC’s social care analytics event, seems to have been a theme this week. The threads run through reports on politics, policies, research, and data – and we learn from a PMQ news item of plans to set up a Surgical Devices and Implant Registry.  Keep the good news coming!


 Predicting if patients will respond to cancer treatment a step closer

A new technology that can study which therapies will work on patients with solid cancerous tumours has been developed by scientists at UCL.

Researchers say the tool, which can rapidly test tumorous tissue against different treatments, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiotherapy, could be used by clinicians to pinpoint the best therapy for a particular patient.

Currently it is difficult for doctors to know which treatment a patient will respond to, so several different therapies may be tried before one works.


Medical Equipment: Databases Question for the Department of Health and Social Care

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care was asked by Emma Hardy, Labour, what data his Department plans to record on patient outcomes as part of the pilot Surgical Devices and Implants Data Collection; and what plans his Department has to hold that data in the final Surgical Device and Implant Registry.

The answer was: “The Surgical Devices and Implants Data Collection, which includes the Pelvic Floor Registry, is to support the development of a single Surgical Device and Implant Registry.

“This will enable the national reporting of the use of any surgical device or implant. The data collected, for inclusion in the relevant Surgical Devices and Implant Registry, will include post-surgical complications submitted by clinicians and outcome and complications recorded by patients via a patient questionnaire.”


Technical and clinical validation of commercial automated volumetric MRI tools for dementia diagnosis—a systematic review

Developments in neuroradiological MRI analysis offer promise in enhancing objectivity and consistency in dementia diagnosis through the use of quantitative volumetric reporting tools (QReports).

Translation into clinical settings should follow a structured framework of development, including technical and clinical validation steps. However, published technical and clinical validation of the available commercial/proprietary tools is not always easy to find and pathways for successful integration into the clinical workflow are varied.

The researchers said: “Upon systematically reviewing the published evidence for regulatory-approved QReports in dementia, we concluded that there is a significant evidence gap in the literature regarding clinical validation, workflow integration and in-use evaluation of these tools in dementia MRI diagnosis.”


Storage limits for eggs, sperm and embryos will go up to 55 years under government plans that ministers say will give people greater choice over when to start a family.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the current limit of 10 years was “severely restrictive.”

Modern freezing techniques mean eggs can be stored indefinitely without deterioration, research from the Royal College of Obstetricians has suggested.

British Fertility Society chairman Dr Raj Mathur welcomed the plans.


Vaccine for treating cancer made possible using Oxford COVID vaccine technology

Scientists from the University of Oxford and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research are building on the success of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 to develop a vaccine to treat cancer.

Researchers have designed a two-dose therapeutic cancer vaccine using Oxford’s viral vector vaccine technology.

When tested in mouse tumour models, the cancer vaccine increased the levels of anti-tumour T cells infiltrating the tumours and improved the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy. Compared to immunotherapy alone, the combination with the vaccine showed a greater reduction in tumour size and improved the survival of the mice.