In a paper published online in advance in the Journal of Clinical Pathology this week, researchers in Taiwan present a study on biopsies from 172 rectal cancer patients without initial distant metastasis, both pre- and post-treatment with neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy followed by surgery, which they initiated in order to assess the predictive and prognostic impacts of Rsf-1. Overall, the team found that "high-expression of Rsf-1 is associated with poor therapeutic response and adverse outcome in rectal cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant CRT [chemoradiation therapy], which confers tumor aggressiveness and therapeutic resistance through chromatin remodeling and represents a potential prognostic biomarker in rectal cancer," it writes.
Over in the current issue, a team of investigators from the Kitasato University School of Medicine in Japan present an assessment of survivin expression in apoptosis and cell proliferation in patients with uterine cervical squamous cell carcinoma. Taking a morphological and immunohistochemical approach, the team studied 181 biopsy specimens from 55 consecutive uterine cervical squamous cell carcinomas of patients receiving radiation therapy. The authors report that "nuclear survivin, including survivin itself and the survivin-[deled exon 3] splice variants, may participate in modulation of altered cell kinetics of U-SCC [uterine cervical squamous cell carcinoma] during radiation therapy."
Also in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, researchers in New Zealand report on the origins of infantile haemangioma, or IH, by studying human embryonic stem cell marker expression in IH to see whether IH-derived cells have the capacity to form teratoma in vivo. Using immunohistochemical staining and quantitative RT-PCR, the authors investigated the expression of hESC markers in IH biopsies. "The hESC markers, Oct-4, STAT-3 and stage-specific embryonic antigen 4 were collectively expressed on the endothelium of proliferating IH lesions, whereas Nanog was not," the authors write. "Nanog was expressed by cells in the interstitium and these cells did not express Oct-4, stage-specific embryonic antigen 4 or STAT-3. Proliferating IH-derived cells were unable to form teratomas in severely compromised immunodeficient/non-obese diabetic mice." The researchers say that their results infer the presence of a primitive cellular source for IH downstream from hESCs.