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Fergus Walsh, Medical correspondent

Fergus Walsh Medical correspondent

This is my take on the medical and health issues of the day, especially those involving research and ethics

Defeating cancer, the 'evil genius'

  • 11 February 2015
  • From the section Health
Sophie Armitage
Sophie Armitage has been described by her consultant as a miracle child

"If you had to describe cancer I would say it's an evil genius."

It's a vivid metaphor from Dr Udai Banerji, of the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden, for the challenge facing patients, scientists and clinicians.

Over the past 18 months, I've been part of a Panorama team that has followed a group of remarkable cancer patients who are on clinical trials run jointly by the two organisations.

I met patients like Sophie Armitage, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called IMFT when she was just nine; and Tami Morris, who has had ovarian cancer for more than a decade.

Tami, like many of those in the trials, has advanced cancer, which has spread from its original site to other parts of the body.

Targeted

Read full article Defeating cancer, the 'evil genius'

Paralysed man who walked again visits the UK

  • 1 February 2015
  • From the section Health
Darek
Darek Fidyka at the Emirates stadium

"I feel proud and honoured to be here." Darek Fidyka's words to me as he waited to form part of the guard of honour for the players at the Emirates stadium where Arsenal were about to face Aston Villa.

Paralysed from the chest down in a knife attack, Darek, from Poland, was the first person in the world to undergo a pioneering treatment which has enabled him to walk again with the aid of a frame.

Read full article Paralysed man who walked again visits the UK

Ebola trial suggests vaccine is safe

  • 28 January 2015
  • From the section Health

The first results of an experimental Ebola vaccine being tested in Oxford suggest it is safe.

Sixty healthy volunteers were immunised at the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute.

Read full article Ebola trial suggests vaccine is safe

Ebola: New vaccine trial begins

  • 6 January 2015
  • From the section Health
Ebola vaccine
Volunteers will receive two doses of the test vaccine

Scientists at Oxford University have begun immunising healthy volunteers with a new Ebola vaccine.

In September last year a separate trial of another Ebola vaccine got under way in the city.

Read full article Ebola: New vaccine trial begins

Superbugs to kill 'more than cancer' by 2050

  • 11 December 2014
  • From the section Health
bacteria
Drug resistant E.coli bacteria are already a significant problem in Europe

Drug resistant infections will kill an extra 10 million people a year worldwide - more than currently die from cancer - by 2050 unless action is taken, a study says.

They are currently implicated in 700,000 deaths each year.

Read full article Superbugs to kill 'more than cancer' by 2050

Ebola vaccine 'promising' say scientists after human trial

  • 26 November 2014
  • From the section Health
Vaccine injection
A 39-year-old woman was the first volunteer to receive the experimental Ebola vaccine

The first human trial of an experimental vaccine against Ebola suggests that it is safe and may help the immune system to combat the virus.

Twenty volunteers were immunised in the United States. Scientists at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) described the results as "promising".

Read full article Ebola vaccine 'promising' say scientists after human trial

Premature birth 'biggest killer'

  • 17 November 2014
  • From the section Health
Baby's feet
Fifteen million babies are born too soon every year

Premature birth is now the biggest global killer of young children.

A study in the Lancet shows it accounts for more than one million deaths per year - mostly in the developing world.

Read full article Premature birth 'biggest killer'

To walk again - the people behind the story

  • 21 October 2014
  • From the section Health
Darek on bridge
Darek Fidyka enjoying his growing independence of movement

It is a moment I will always remember. On a warm summer's day in Wroclaw, Poland, Darek Fidyka walked across a bridge, using only a frame for support.

This had been his dream for four years, after he was paralysed in a knife attack. Now, after a transplant of cells taken from his nasal cavity, it had become reality.

Read full article To walk again - the people behind the story

Ebola trial volunteer immunised

  • 17 September 2014
  • From the section Health

The first healthy volunteer has received an experimental Ebola vaccine in Oxford.

Ruth Atkins, an NHS communications manager said afterwards she felt "absolutely fine".

Read full article Ebola trial volunteer immunised

Ebola vaccine trial begins

  • 17 September 2014
  • From the section Health
First patient
The vaccine being tested is similar to one being trialled in the United States

A trial of an experimental vaccine against the Ebola virus is to begin in Oxford.

The first of 60 healthy volunteers will be injected with the vaccine.

Read full article Ebola vaccine trial begins

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About Fergus

Fergus began working for the BBC in 1984 and has reported on health, science and medicine for nearly 20 years.

He has reported for the BBC from around the world on topics such as stem cells, obesity, HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, polio and swine flu.

Fergus has had his genes sequenced, his heart, brain and other body parts scanned, as well as being vaccinated against bird flu for his reports.

He appeared in a BBC TV drama with Julie Walters. He didn't win any awards for his acting, but has won several for his journalism.

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