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This Week in BMC Cancer: Aug 2, 2011


In BMC Cancer this week, researchers in the US and Puerto Rico present results from a case-control study of the link between smoking and drinking and oral, potentially malignant disorders in Puerto Rico. The team analyzed the smoking and drinking habits of 86 patients diagnosed with an oral, potentially malignant disorder, and 155 with a benign oral tissue condition, and found that current smoking was a substantial risk factor for the malignant disorders. Former smokers had a far smaller risk of developing a malignancy, compared to current smokers, the authors added. There was very little evidence to suggest that alcohol consumption influenced risk.

Also in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in the UK and China say that cancer stem cell CD133 has the potential to be used as an indicator for differentiation and prognosis in human cholangiocarcinoma. The researchers analyzed five normal liver samples and 54 cholangiocarcinoma samples, and found that CD133 was expressed in all five normal samples and 40 out of the 54 cancerous samples. "Further statistical analyses indicated that the expression and different subcellular localization of CD133 were significantly correlated with the differentiation status of tumors," the authors write. "Among 23 patients followed up for survival, the median survival was four months for 14 CD133 negative patients but 14 months for nine CD133 positive ones. CD133 negative expression correlated with poor prognosis."

Finally in BMC Cancer this week, South Korean researchers present findings from a multi-center retrospective analysis of 581 patients with primary intestinal non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The team compared clinical features and treatment outcomes according to anatomical site and histological subtype. The team found that B-cell lymphoma was more frequent that T-cell lymphoma, and that T-cell lymphoma had more "unfavorable characteristics" like advanced stage at diagnosis, and a lower survival rate. "The survival of patients with ileocecal region involvement was better than that of patients with involvement at other sites, which might be related to histologic distribution, the proportion of tumor stage, and need for surgical resection," the team adds.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.