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Let's Be More Precise

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Many researchers say the word 'cancer' is out of date and too imprecise, says The New York Times' Gina Kolata. As researchers and clinicians have learned over the years, the word cancer is used to designate a number of different diseases with different causes, symptoms, treatments, and likely outcomes. "It is like saying a person has 'mental illness' when he or she might have schizophrenia or mild depression or an eating disorder," Kolata says. So some experts are now recommending that the medical establishment stop using the word cancer. Especially now that screening is widespread and researchers are getting more adept at early detection of some cancers, it may not even be correct to call these conditions 'cancer' anymore, she adds.

The Scan

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.

Study Reviews Family, Provider Responses to Rapid Whole-Genome Sequencing Follow-up

Investigators identified in the European Journal of Human Genetics variable follow-up practices after rapid whole-genome sequencing.

BMI-Related Variants Show Age-Related Stability in UK Biobank Participants

Researchers followed body mass index variant stability with genomic structural equation modeling and genome-wide association studies of 40- to 72-year olds in PLOS Genetics.

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.