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This Week in BMC Cancer: Mar 2, 2011

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In BMC Cancer this week, a team of researchers in China have found that subsequent chemotherapy reverses acquired tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistance and restores response to tyrosine kinase inhibitor in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. Two patients with advanced NSCLC were treated with palliative chemotherapy followed by treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors erlotinib and gefitinib. When the therapy failed, they were re-treated with two cycles of chemotherapy followed by more of the tyrosine kinase inhibitors, the authors write. "NSCLC patients with acquired TKI resistance should be managed aggressively whenever possible," they add. "Subsequent chemotherapy and target treatment is one of the reasonable choices for those with an initial dramatic clinical response with erlotinib/gefitinib treatment."

Also, researchers in China and Sweden teamed up to study endosialin expression in relation to clinicopathological and biological variables in rectal cancers. In order to see whether endosialin was related to radiotherapy response, the researchers studied patients who had participated in a Swedish study of preoperative radiotherapy in patients with rectal cancer. "Endosialin expression in the tumour cells of both in the radiotherapy group and the non-radiotherapy group was observed more often in tumors with an infiltrative growth pattern than in tumors with an expansive growth pattern," the authors write. "Endosialin expression may be involved in the progression of rectal cancers. ... However, a direct relationship between endosialin expression and radiotherapy responses in patients was not found."

Finally in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in Germany present a prospective study to evaluate the efficacy of Rituximab to prevent out-filed recurrences in early stage nodal follicular lymphoma and the safety of the combination of Rituximab and involved field radiotherapy. The optimal radiation field for the treatment of early stage follicular lymphoma has not been determined, the authors write. Rituximab has been shown to be effective in systemic therapy of follicular lymphoma. The primary endpoint of the study is progression-free survival.

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