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This Week in BMC Cancer: Jun 14, 2011

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Università di Pisa's Fotios Loupakis and colleagues report in BMC Cancer on their retrospective analysis of whether certain VEGF polymorphisms affect the efficacy of first-line FOLFIRI plus bevacizumab in treating metastatic colon cancer. The researchers analyzed the genomic DNA of 111 patients receiving that treatment and determined their VEGF polymorphisms using PCR-RFLP. "These data suggest a possible role for VEGF -1498 C/T variants in predicting the efficacy of bevacizumab in the up-front treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer patients," the authors write. However, they note that "these results should be considered as hypothesis generators" and that a validation study is underway.

Also this week in BMC Cancer, Sahlgrenska University Hospital's Annika Gustafsson Asting and her colleagues say that COX-2 expression, which is linked to colorectal cancer progression, "is overall not a unanimous finding in colorectal cancer tissue." The researchers determined the COX-2 expression levels in the tumor and normal colon tissue through microarray analysis and say that "DNA methylation of the COX-2 promoter region was not a significant factor behind COX-2 expression in tumor and normal colon tissue."

Finally, researchers from Medical Diagnostic Laboratories evaluated whether the oncoprotein DEK could be used as a biomarker for bladder cancer. They analyzed the presence of DEK in 38 paired transitional cell carcinoma bladder tumors and adjacent normal tissue as well as in urine from bladder cancer patients and healthy people. The researchers report that the DEK protein was expressed in 33 of 38 the bladder tumors but not in the adjacent normal tissue, and that about 84 percent of the bladder cancer patients had DEK in their urine samples. "These results indicate that the detection of the DEK protein in the voided urine may potentially be used as a diagnostic test for detection and surveillance of bladder cancer," the authors write.

The Scan

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.