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Today’s top health stories

BBC News Online has reported on a study published in Nature, which has revealed breast cancer should be classified as 10 separate diseases. According to the journal, the categories could help improve treatment by allowing tailored drugs to be used according to a patient’s specific type of breast cancer. The international team of scientists looked at frozen breast cancer samples from around 2,000 women at hospitals in the UK and Canada. Cancer Research UK described the findings as a “landmark” and added it would begin using the new criteria in clinical trials if funded.

The creation of health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) marking the return of public health to local authorities is a “seismic shift and a significant opportunity” says the Guardian. However, it highlights there are limits to representation, and that not everyone with a local stake will be able to sit on the new bodies. The report argues while some HWBs will not have district council representation there remains opportunities for districts to be involved, including ensuring limited funds are being spent more efficiently.

The HSJ has reported on a letter issued by the Chairman of Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts, who issued a negative assessment of savings acute trusts must be prepared to make over in the coming three years. David Bennett wrote to trust CEOs stating cost improvement plans would have to be delivered “on an even more ambitious scale going forward,” following predictions for saving requirements rose from 4.5% to 5.5% for the next two financial years.

 

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Health experts are warning that the NHS is likely to need a spending increase above and beyond the £8bn by 2020 pledged by the Conservatives, reports Independent.co.uk. A new survey of NHS finance directors in England, conducted by the King’s... Read more

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A trio of doctors have reopened the debate about whether food, sedentary lifestyles or both are responsible for the obesity epidemic, reports TheGuardian.com. Writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the authors – including British cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra... Read more

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Addenbrooke’s Hospital will recruit the first humans for testing of a drug that may be able to reverse some of the damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease in the later stages of the condition, reports The Telegraph.Patients over 50 with early... Read more

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In the first of its kind study using MRI systems, scientists from Oxford University found that 18 of the 20 brain regions active in adults experiencing pain were also active in babies, reports The Guardian. In the study, researchers took... Read more