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Focus on the Stomach


In a new study published online at Nature Genetics, researchers from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore and the National Cancer Center Singapore report hundreds of novel genetic mutations involved in gastric cancer, the school says in a press release. Until now, says senior author Patrick Tan, the genetic causes of stomach cancer were largely unknown, and, as a result, treatment outcome is poor and less than 25 percent of patients survive more than five years after diagnosis. By sequencing 18,000 genes in both tumor and normal tissue from stomach cancer patients, the team was able to identify 600 genes containing mutations. "Two of the 600 stomach cancer-associated genes identified, FAT4 and ARID1A, proved to be particularly interesting. A further analysis of about 100 stomach tumors found these genes to be mutated in 5 percent and 8 percent of stomach cancers, respectively," the press release says. "In some patients, portions of the chromosome containing the two genes were found to be missing, further evidence that genetic defects affecting these genes occur frequently in stomach cancer." In further experiments, the team found that manipulation of these two genes altered the growth of the cancer cells. The researchers hope their work will lead to more personalized treatments for patients with stomach tumors, the press release adds.

The Scan

Not Immediately Told

The US National Institutes of Health tells lawmakers that one of its grantees did not immediately report that it had developed a more infectious coronavirus, Science says.

Seems Effective in Kids

The Associated Press reports that the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children appears to be highly effective at preventing symptomatic disease.

Intelligence Warning on Bioeconomy Threats

US intelligence warns over China's focus on technologies and data related to the bioeconomy, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Campylobacteriosis Sources, Inherited Retinal Dystrophies, Liver Cancer Prognosis

In PLOS this week: approach to uncover source of Campylobacteriosis, genetic risk factors for inherited retinal dystrophies, and more.