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This Week in BMC Cancer: Mar 15, 2011

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In BMC Cancer this week, researchers in China present a meta-analysis of cohort studies on the association between coffee consumption and cancer risk. The team searched various databases and found 59 studies that showed individuals who didn't or seldom drank coffee had a higher relative risk of developing cancer than people who drank coffee regularly. "Overall, an increase in consumption of one cup of coffee per day was associated with a 3 percent reduced risk of cancers," the authors write. "In subgroup analyses, we noted that coffee drinking was associated with a reduced risk of bladder, breast, buccal and pharyngeal, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, hepatocellular, leukemic, pancreatic, and prostate cancers."

Also in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in France present their validation of prognostic models for survival in patients undergoing chemotherapy for advanced or metastatic cancer after first-line treatment. The team previously described a model for prognosis based on a combination of Performance Status — a scale used by clinicians to measure how a patient's disease is affecting their daily habits — and either lactate dehydrogenase level or lymphocyte count. "Prognostic scores using Performance Status plus LDH level or Performance Status plus lymphocyte count were validated for predicting survival in metastatic cancer patients in relapse beyond first-line treatment," the authors write. "A score combining PS, LDH, lymphocyte and platelet count, serum albumin, and IL-6 level was superior in determining patients' prognosis."

Finally in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in Spain propose a study to determine the effects of manual lymphatic drainage therapy in women with breast cancer-related lymphoedema. The researchers propose a randomized controlled clinical trial of 58 women suffering post-mastectomy lymphoedema and a control group of 29 patients receiving standard-of-care therapy. "The results of this study will provide information on the effectiveness of manual lymph drainage and its impact on the quality of life and physical limitations of these patients," the researchers write.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.