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To Test? To Treat?

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The New York Times' Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer discuss physicians' "polarized views about the logic of routine testing" for cancers, particularly in light of the recent debates over the utility of prostate-specific antigen testing. "The dueling narratives of PSA testing boil down to the way each side frames the potential for harm from the disease compared with the collateral damage from the test and subsequent treatment," Brownlee and Lenzer write. They add that, at a time when clinicians can now screen for prostate and other cancers long before they are symptomatic, "as it stands, each man must decide for himself how he wants to play the odds," and that physicians must tread the fine line of advising their patients without pushing them "in one director or the other."

The Scan

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.

Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

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.