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US TV show talks cancer

A US television programme focusing on cancer has revealed a possible new trend in targeted health programming.

A US television programme focusing on cancer has revealed a possible new trend in targeted health programming.

Since launching in June 2007, the talk show, "Your Cancer Today", has seen more than 40 episodes on cancer research and treatments.

The weekly programme, which is also transmitted on satellite in the EU, deals with two or three types of cancer and interviews four or five guests, including survivors, doctors and entrepreneurs who discuss topics, such as experimental therapies, survivorship and prevention.

The show is recorded on a set that looks like a living room. Some pre-recorded interviews of out-of-town experts are edited into the shows, which are also streamed online at www.yourcancertoday.com

Alan Painter, CEO and financial backer of "Your Cancer Today", says there are no promotional tie-ins or corporate sponsorships from the pharmaceutical industry.

Painter, who previously owned media companies in Washington, does have financial ties to a cancer-prevention organisation, however. He also serves as a director of US-based NanoLife Sciences, which is planning to open proton treatment centres worldwide.

Whether "Your Cancer Today" becomes a promotional vehicle for NanoLife when the company opens its clinics remains to be seen. Larry Welch, CEO of Nanolife, was interviewed on the show's first episode. The show's medical adviser, Dr Stan Wasbin, practices general medicine, not oncology.

The American Cancer Society is cautiously supportive of the show and has offered up experts for appearances. It is, however, still waiting to see how the corporate relationships evolve before offering sponsorship or endorsement, according to a spokesperson for the charity.

30th September 2008

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