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This Week in BMC Cancer: Jun 14, 2011


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

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.