Scientia Issue #136 | Recent Advances in Confronting the Challenge of Cancer

Apr 9, 2021Issues

This special issue of Scientia is dedicated to the scientists working to confront cancer, one of the biggest challenges facing medical science in the 21st century. According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the second leading cause of death around the world, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020. Although research into cancer has taken place in some form for over 200 years, still to this day we do not have a cure.

The first section in this special issue is dedicated to research on the causes and risk factors that may lead to cancer, with a focus on the need for public health interventions to reduce preventable deaths. Our exclusive interview with Worldwide Cancer Research’s Chief Executive, Dr Helen Rippon, sets the scene for meeting scientists working on research as diverse as identifying the similarities between cancers in humans and dogs to identifying the environmental causes of cancer through exposure to toxins. 

Our second section focuses on the work of researchers striving to improve the timing and accuracy of diagnosing cancer. This is a critical area of research because early diagnosis is associated with much better rates of survival than later diagnosis. Here, we read of the development of low-cost, non-invasive procedures that have exciting applications for the detection of novel biomarkers in cancer, to algorithmic approaches to decision-making in breast cancer that are data-driven and equitable with the intention of reducing stress on patients. We conclude the section with an exclusive interview with Richard Bahu, Chair of Trustees at the UK research charity Against Breast Cancer.

Our final section is dedicated to the development of treatments for cancer. In acknowledgement of the need to develop a broad range of therapies to cover the whole spectrum of cancer, we meet the researchers dedicated to the development of novel and innovative therapeutics, ranging from combined therapy to improve the therapeutic response of tumours in late-stage pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma to the potential benefits of an alkaline diet on the tumour microenvironment and the enhancement of anti-cancer treatments. We close this section and special issue of Scientia with an exclusive interview with Worldwide Cancer Research’s Director of Research, Dr Lynn Turner, where we read how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the battle against cancer, and what challenges must now be faced as a result.


Published in the UK, by Science Diffusion ltd ISSN 2059-8971 (print) ISSN 2059-898X (online)




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Meet The Team…

Nick Bagnall

Dr Nelly Berg

Dr Catherine Deeprose  

Mimi Jones


Paris Allen
Mike King
James Phillips


James Apps, PhD
Mark Braham, MSc
Lynne Holmes, BSc
Beth Jarman, BSc
Kiran Jawaid, PhD
Aldo Olivieri, PhD
Alex Reiss, PhD
Marie Sjoethun, PhD
Alice Tolworthy, BSc
Alfie Watt, BSc
Joseph Wilson, PhD


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