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This Week in BMC Cancer: Aug 8, 2011


In BMC Cancer this week, researchers in South Korea examine the prognostic significance of CD44 expression in resected non-small-cell lung cancer. The team analyzed CD44 protein expression in tissue samples from 159 patients with resected non-small-cell lung cancer — 82 with adenocarcinoma and 77 with squamous cell carcinoma. It found that high CD44 expression was detected more often in lung cancer patients with squamous cell carcinoma than in those with adenocarcinoma. "Additionally, high CD44s expression was significant correlated with more advanced regional lymph node metastasis," the authors write. "High CD44s expression was a negative prognostic marker with significance in patients with resected non-small-cell lung cancer, particularly those with adenocarcinoma histology, and was independent of tumor stage."

Also in BMC Cancer this week, another team of South Korean researchers elucidate the involvement of Cox2 in the metastatic potential of chemotherapy-resistant breast cancer cells. The team generated a doxorubicin-resistant MCF-7 breast cancer cell line, and studied its metastatic activities. The researchers found that these chemo-resistant cells became invasive with increased expression of EGFR and Cox2. Inhibition of the Cox2, PI3K, or MAPK pathways inhibited the invasive activities of the cell lines, the authors write, adding that Cox2 could be an important target for "chemosensitization and inhibition of metastasis" in chemotherapy-resistant breast cancers.

And finally in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in India say that a novel HIF-1alpha inhibitor also modulates the PI3K pathway and inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells. The compound, P3155, suppresses HIF-1alpha expression, as well as the PI3K/Akt pathway, and abrogated expression of HIF-1 through VEGF. "P3155 in combination with HIF-1alpha siRNA showed significant synergistic effect," the authors write. "In addition, it demonstrated significant in vivo efficacy and antiangiogenic potential in prostate cancer cell lines."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.