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This Week in BMC Cancer: Jul 25, 2011


In BMC Cancer this week, researchers in Portugal and Brazil write that over-expression of CD147 and the transmembrane protein monocarboxylate transporter 4 is associated with poor prognosis in prostate cancer. The team examined prostate tissue from 171 patients who had had a radical prostatectomy and from 15 patients who received a cystoprostatectomy, and saw a significant increase in the expression of MCT2 and MCT4 in the cytoplasm of tumor cells as well as a significant decrease in both MCT1 and CD147 expression in prostate tumor cells, as compared to normal tissue. The team also found associations between MCT1, MCT4, and CD147 expression and prognosis — namely that over-expression of MCT4 and CD147 correlated with higher PSA levels as well as with perineural invasion and biochemical recurrence. "Our data provides novel evidence for the involvement of MCTs in prostate cancer," the authors write. "According to our results, we consider that MCT2 should be further explored as tumor marker and both MCT4 and CD147 as markers of poor prognosis in prostate cancer."

Also in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in the UK find that the multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor E7080 suppresses the migration and invasion of tumor cells into healthy tissue. E7080's targets include VEGFR, FGFR, and PDGFR, and has been shown to inhibit tumor angiogenesis, the team writes. In this study, the researchers used a panel of human tumor cells lines and determined that while the compound had little effect on tumor cell proliferation, it blocked migration and invasion at concentrations that inhibit FGFR and PDGFR signaling.

And finally in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in Sweden describe a "simple" method for assigning genomic grade to individual breast tumors. Using 251 profiled tumors, the team optimized a method that grades cancers by comparing "rank means for genes predictive of high- and low-grade biology." When they validated their method in 594 patients, the researchers found their method's accuracy was 83 percent to 94 percent for low-grade tumors and 74 percent to 100 percent for high-grade tumors. "This validates the concept of microarray-based grading in breast cancer, and provides a more practical method to achieve it," the authors write. "Clinical implementation could achieve better estimation of recurrence risk for 40 to 50 percent of breast cancer patients."

The Scan

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.

Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.