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The British Journal of Cancer

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In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers from Australia evaluate the effect of pigment epithelium-derived factor on primary and secondary osteosarcoma tumors. In in vitro testing of PEDF in osteosarcoma cells lines, the team saw that it inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in the cancer cells. Using a murine orthotopic model of osteosarcoma, the team administered PEDF to the animals and found that it caused a reduction in both primary tumor volume and burden of pulmonary metastases. "Systemically delivered PEDF is effective in suppressing the size of primary and secondary tumors in an orthotopic murine model of osteosarcoma," the authors write.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Europe evaluate the anti-tumor effects of afatinib on human pancreatic cancer cells. The team administered afatinib, erlotinib, gemcitabine, and the monocolonal antibody ICR62 to a panel of human pancreatic cancer cells, and found that afatinib was the most effective in inhibiting the growth of the tumor cells and in blocking the EGF-induced phosphorylation of several oncogenes. "The superiority of afatinib in this study encourages further investigation on the therapeutic potential of afatinib as a single agent or in combination with gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer," the authors write.

Finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Spain report that the over-expression of the gene TMPRSS4 is associated with poor prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer patients. The team evaluated TMPRSS4 expression in 34 cancer cell lines, and found that knocking down TMPRSS4 in the H358, H441, and H2170 lung cancer cell lines resulted in a significant reduction in proliferation and invasion of cancer cells. "Expression of TMPRSS4 showed a [greater than] 30-fold increase in tumors in comparison with non-malignant samples," the authors write. "Levels in tumors with squamous cell carcinoma histology were found to be significantly higher than those with adenocarcinoma histology."

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China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.