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Some clarifications on red meat and cancer

The evaluation on the carcinogenicity of red meat by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – and not by WHO as many media reported – has given rise to a range of misunderstandings and is an example of how scientific communication on topics with a major public impact may prove extremely difficult.  As coordinator of the epidemiology Working Group that classified the consumption of red meat, I followed the process from

When excellence comes home

Two aspects remain etched firmly after a talk with Andrea Lunardi and Graziano Martello, two "made in Italy" brains that have decided to return to work in Italy after years of research abroad. First, go abroad tout court is not an essential step; the difference is choosing centres of excellence abroad. Second: a PhD in Italy is a great resource, not to be missed, as long as you choose a good group to work with.

The "exposome" revolution arrives

Imagine about one thousand people equipped with smartphones which, in addition to the standard functions, serve to reveal using special sensors, pollutants, and which, thanks to GPS, correlate the findings whilst on the move. Now imagine that these same persons are monitored as part of an experiment where their blood and other bodily liquids are taken, dosing them with the main metabolites; the medical sphere monitors them and conducts surveys relying on questionnaires on primary lifestyle habits.

An antidiabetic drug to prevent and cure cancer

An old but effective drug against diabetes can also help in the fight against breast cancer. Probably, if administered to healthy women it can prevent its insurgence. These are the important results of a study on metformin just published on Nature Communication, and conducted by the team of Giovanni Blandino of the National Cancer Institute Regina Elena (IRCCS). In this work metformin exerts some of its antitumor activities by reprogramming the metabolism of a tumor cell.

Against smoking, also harm reduction is useful

Smoking kills one person every six seconds and today it is under all respects one of the worst epidemic ever faced globally. The World Health Organisation estimated that almost 6 million people lose their lives each year due to damage from smoking. Among the victims, more than 600,000 are non-smokers exposed to passive smoking. By 2030 total deaths could increase to nearly 8 million per year and if the trend continues, which is what can be inferred from projections, in the twenty-first century smoking will have caused up to one billion deaths, especially hitting

Tissue donation in the fight against cancer

When you discover you have cancer, the first and only thought coming to mind is to get rid of it. No one certainly comes out with the rather morbid idea of asking the surgeon for the removed tissue in order to preserve it: throw it away and forget about it. You should instead donate it, because nowadays these samples are precious and coveted.