Intelligent Luddites . . . and other stories

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5551 (Published 19 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5551

Genes and breast cancer treatment

Nobody seems to know if there was a real Ned Ludd who went around smashing spinning machines in Lancashire, but the name Luddite has been used for 200 years for anyone who opposes the march of progress. Advancements in breast cancer treatment have come through improved stratification, which now includes gene signatures to predict response to treatment. But a new analysis questions whether these really do help clinical decision making (Ann Oncol doi:10.1093/annonc/mdw307). The authors make a powerful case for intelligent Luddism and set out the basic requirements for future research based on linkage between gene characteristics and real life responses.

Swedish success with abdominal aortic aneurysm screening

“All screening does harm: some screening does more harm than good,” said Muir Gray many years ago. In Sweden, screening men at age …

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