Researchers find early evidence that TB jab could help fight cancer

Scientists have found a potential new mechanism to stimulate the body’s own ability to fight cancer using Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) – the germ commonly used to inoculate against tuberculosis (TB). The findings are published online in the British Journal of Cancer today (Wednesday 10 August 2011).

The researchers, Dr Wai Liu and Professor Angus Dalgleish from St George’s, University of London, say this new data suggests a mechanism by which vaccines could enhance the anti-cancer activity of currently available therapies. However, they warn that this is an early-stage study and that there is much more research to be done before patients will benefit.

Nursing courses get regulator’s seal of approval

Degree-level nursing courses at Kingston University and St George's, University of London are among the first in the United Kingdom to have been approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

The council's new education standards have been designed to ensure freshly qualified nurses are fully prepared to deliver excellent patient care and meet the standards expected by employers. They will also give them all the skills needed to gain official registration.

First approval for production of an anti-HIV antibody in plants

UK regulators have approved Europe’s first clinical trial of an antibody produced from genetically modified (GM) plants. This landmark decision sets the stage for the testing in humans of an anti-HIV product made from modified tobacco plants. It will open the door for trials of additional plant-derived medicines treating a range of diseases.

The trial will test the safety of a plant-derived antibody designed to stop the transmission of HIV between sexual partners when applied directly to the vaginal cavity. If proven safe in the 11 participants, the researchers can then go on to test the effectiveness of the product.

New social enterprise will help people with learning difficulties to handle challenging emotions through pictures

A new social enterprise has been launched at the House of Lords to publish a series of picture books that help people with learning and communication difficulties tackle challenging and emotional events. Three new books have been published to mark the launch.

The new enterprise, called Beyond Words, is a spin-out company from St George’s, University of London. It will continue the production of the well-established Books Beyond Words series, which uses pictures instead of words to communicate with adults and adolescents who cannot read, or have difficulty reading or communicating.

St George’s, University of London announces fees and funding for 2012/13

St George’s, University of London will charge new UK and EU students £9,000 a year in fees for undergraduate degrees and £6,000 a year for foundation degrees from September 2012.

To continue to support fair access to higher education, St George’s will increase its total spend on student support, outreach and retention activities to equate to more than 30 per cent of the additional income. This supplements university-led spend in this area of commitment and will provide extra support for students who may be considering dropping out of their studies at St George’s. It will also enable the university to work with more school pupils to inform them about higher education opportunities.