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This Week in BMC Cancer: May 30, 2011

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In BMC Cancer this week, researchers at the University of Ulsan College of Medicine in South Korea present findings from a retrospective study of systemic chemotherapy for the treatment of advanced small bowel adenocarcinoma. The researchers analyzed data from 91 patients diagnosed with advanced small bowel adenocarcinoma between January 1989 and December 2009, and split the patients into two groups — those who did receive palliative chemotherapy, and those that did not. Overall, 81 patients died at a median survival time of 6.6 months. Of those, 40 patients receiving chemotherapy showed overall response and disease control rates of 11.1 percent and 37 percent, respectively, with overall survival of 11.8 months and progression-free survival of 5.7 months, the researchers write. In comparison, the 41 patients who did not receive chemotherapy had an overall survival rate of 4.1 months and a progression-free survival of 1.3 months. "The group that did not receive chemotherapy was at a significantly higher risk of mortality than were patients receiving chemotherapy," the team says. "Palliative chemotherapy may improve survival outcomes in patients with advanced small bowel adenocarcinoma."

Also in BMC Cancer this week, a team of researchers in France present a study on the prognostic value of the expression of c-chemokine receptors 6 and 7 and their ligands in non-metastatic breast cancer. The researchers evaluated biomarker expression levels on 207 samples of breast cancer tissue, and found that c-chemokine receptor 6 was expressed by tumor cells in 35 percent of the samples, and that receptor 7 was expressed by spindle-shaped stromal cells in 43 percent of the cases, though not by the tumor cells. The expression of the c-chemokine receptors correlated with histological features of aggressive disease, the team writes.

And finally in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in Canada present the prognostic significance of IL-6 and IL-8 ascites levels in ovarian cancer patients. The researchers measured IL-6 and IL-8 levels in the ascites of 39 patients with newly-diagnosed epithelial ovarian cancer, and found that these levels were significantly lower in patients that have received prior chemotherapy before surgery. The analysis also found that high IL-6 ascites levels were significantly correlated with shorter progression-free survival, making these high IL-6 levels an independent predictor of shorter survival time, the authors write.

The Scan

Could Mix It Up

The US Food and Drug Administration is considering a plan that would allow for the mixing-and-matching of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and boosters, the New York Times says.

Closest to the Dog

New Scientist reports that extinct Japanese wolf appears to be the closest known wild relative of dogs.

Offer to Come Back

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the University of Tennessee is offering Anming Hu, a professor who was acquitted of charges that he hid ties to China, his position back.

PNAS Papers on Myeloid Differentiation MicroRNAs, Urinary Exosomes, Maize Domestication

In PNAS this week: role of microRNAs in myeloid differentiation, exosomes in urine, and more.