ASH Daily News for 24 November 2016



  • New study reveals genetic explanation for cancer’s higher incidence in males than females
  • Sri Lanka to introduce a ban on the sale of individual cigarettes
  • Australia: Tobacco companies pledge to obey law
  • Radio broadcasts

New study reveals genetic explanation for cancer’s higher incidence in males than females

Researchers have found a genetic difference between men and women which they believe partially explains the higher incidence of cancerous tumours in men.

Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute alongside those from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute, found that women carry an extra copy of certain protective genes within their cells which acts as an additional line of defence against the cells growing out of control. The gene in question, KDM6A, is found on the X chromosome, women have two X chromosomes whereas men have one.

Under the theory being tested, male cells would need a harmful mutation in only one copy of an EXISTS gene for it to turn cancerous. In contrast, female cells would need harmful mutations in both copies of the gene. Through studying the genomes of more than 4,000 tumour samples researchers found support for this theory.

See also:
Tumor-suppressor genes that escape from X-inactivation contribute to cancer sex bias, Nature Genetics
Why do men get cancer more often than women? Genetics is to blame, Huffington Post

Source: Medical X Press – 23 November 2016
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Sri Lanka to introduce a ban on the sale of individual cigarettes

Attending a meeting of the Government Medical Officers Association, the Sri Lankan Health Minister announced that the Government will shortly introduce new regulations to ban the sale of individual cigarettes.

Banning the sale of individual cigarettes, and small packs, is recommended by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) as it helps to discourage tobacco consumption, especially among young people and those on low incomes.

Source: Asian Tribune – 23 November 2016
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Australia: Tobacco companies pledge to obey law

Tobacco companies Philip Morris International and Zen Sensations have made legal undertakings to ensure their cigarettes fully comply with Australia’s mandatory Reduced Fire Risk safety standard, following recalls in 2015.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted court enforceable undertakings from both companies which included a voluntary $300,000 donation by Philip Morris to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.

Source: C&I – 24 November 2016
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Radio broadcasts

Two radio programmes have been broadcast this week relating to smoking cessation and the complexities around why individuals still continue to smoke.

The BBC broadcast ‘Why does anyone still smoke?’ features expert opinion from Professor Robert West and Dr Jeffrey Wigand and can be accessed here.

The second broadcast: ‘The man who wanted to ‘cure’ smoking’, looks back at the life and work of ‘anti-smoking guru’ Allen Carr a decade after his death and can be accessed here.