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Keogh becomes NHS medical director: The cardiothoracic surgeon Bruce Keogh, professor of cardiac surgery at University College London and director of cardiothoracic surgery at the Heart Hospital, London, has been appointed as the new medical director of the NHS in England, leading the work of the government's clinical directors (or “tsars”), and as deputy chief medical officer.
Prostate cancer is the most likely cancer to show family history: Twenty per cent of patients with prostate cancer had a family history of the disease, says a new study that was based on 206000 cases (Annals of Oncology doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdm414). It is followed by breast cancer (14%) and colorectal cancer (13%). Cancer of the salivary glands had the lowest familial proportion, 0.2%.
Canadian research institute promotes open access: From 1 January 2008 researchers with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research will have to ensure that their original research articles are freely available online within six months of publication. James Till, who chairs a national task force of researchers and stakeholders, says that the new policy will serve as a model for other funding agencies. See www.cihr-irsc.ca/e/34851.html.
Elsevier introduces free web portal: The publisher Reed Elsevier has introduced a web portal for oncologists, financed by advertising, that gives them free access to articles from 100 of its own journals. Oncologists are asked to register their personal information in exchange for immediate access to articles on cancer. See www.oncologySTAT.com.
Israeli judge categorises indoor tobacco smoke as “assault”: Proprietors of public places who fail to enforce smoking bans are “accomplices to assault,” an Israeli district court judge said in a precedent setting ruling. The judge has fined a Tel Aviv restaurant owner the equivalent of $800 (£400; €580) for failing to keep the premises free of tobacco smoke.
HRT raises risk of breast cancer but lessens risk of colon cancer: Women who took hormone replacement therapy for more than two years had a lower risk of colon cancer than women who took it for <6 months (hazard ratio 0.8 (95% confidence interval 0.7 to 0.9)) but a higher risk of breast cancer (1.3 (1.1 to 1.6)), a study of 73000 women found (Annals of Oncology doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdm404). The increase in the risk of breast cancer was less for transdermal HRT (1.3 (1.1 to 1.5)) than for oral HRT (2.1 (1.4 to 3.2)).