Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Sammy Franks Dies


Leonard Maurice Franks, the prostate pathologist and cancer researcher who made the link between cancer and aging, passed away this week, reports The Guardian's Nicholas Wright. Franks, known widely as Sammy, was 90 years old. His research into the high frequency of prostate cancer in older men led to the conclusion that "if a man lives long enough, he will develop prostate cancer," Wright says. Franks' concept of tumor latency — the idea that a tumor early in its development can stay for years without progressing — led directly to the prostate cancer screening model of watchful waiting. Franks also introduced cell culture and electron microscopy to cancer research, and was considered an authority on tumor biology, Wright adds, and used these tools to study cancer development. He was the first to isolate clones of tumor cells with metastatic potential and study their properties. Many say his work showing genetic differences between cells with high and low metastatic potential led directly to the field of tumor heterogeneity, Wright says.

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.