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'Steroids stop miscarriage'

The story

An asthma drug could prevent recurrent miscarriages, the Daily Mail, Daily Express, Times and Independent report.

The source

A study of 29 women at risk of miscarriage who were given the steroid prednisolone for three weeks found that five became pregnant or gave

birth to a baby. The University of Liverpool, which carried out the research, is now planning a study of 700 women.

Expert view

Dr Jane Stewart, a consultant in reproductive medicine at Newcastle Fertility Centre, said: 'It's very exciting and I think there is potential for helping a lot of

women. It gives a good scientific basis to go and do proper clinical trials. We would then have a better idea of which women would be suitable for treatment and would benefit from it.'

'Soya destroys fertility'

The story

Eating soya can reduce a woman's chance of conceiving, the Daily Telegraph and Independent report.

The source

Research presented this week at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Copenhagen found a chemical in soya ­ genistein ­ could sabotage the ability of sperm to bind to and fertilise eggs.

Expert view

Dr Catti Moss, RCGP spokesperson on women's health, said she would advise women to try to cut out soya if they were having long-term problems conceiving. But she added: 'It might be worth remembering that in countries like Japan soya products are very popular and this doesn't seem to be causing them any problems.'

'Wonder drug cures cancer'

The story

A 'wonder drug' gives new hope of a cure for cancer, the Daily Mail and Times report.

The source

A prototype treatment, labelled 17AAG, has been shown to work against breast, prostate, bowel,

kidney, ovarian and skin tumours, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by the Institute of Cancer Research.

Expert view

Professor Hilary Calvert, professor of medical oncology at the University of Newcastle and chair of Cancer Research UK's phase one and two trials committee, said: 'It's a very interesting drug mechanistically because it leads to the degradation of various oncogenes. It showed some efficacy in melanomas but before we can be sure it will be really useful we need the phase two results and that's ongoing.'

'Stem cells help conception'

The story

Scientists could use stem cells to help infertile or gay couples to conceive, a report in the

Daily Telegraph claims.

The source

UK scientists reported at the reproduction and embryology conference in Denmark this week that they had created precursors of human sperm and eggs from 'building block' stem cells.

Expert view

Professor William Ledger, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Sheffield, said: 'The message is that it's a long way off from being applicable in clinical practice. It is a big development scientifically but to treat infertile males will take at least a decade, if ever.'

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