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This Week in BMC Cancer: Nov 14, 2011

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In BMC Cancer this week, researchers in China use small interfering RNA targeting to enhance proteasome inhibitor-induced apoptosis in solid malignant tumors. The team treated different human cancer cell lines with proteasome inhibitors and investigated the expression of the Mcl1 gene. Mcl-1 levels were elevated in human colon cancer cell lines, a human ovarian cancer cell line, and a human lung cancer cell line. The team also found that reducing Mcl-1 accumulation with an Mcl-1 siRNA enhanced proteasome inhibitor-induced cell death and apoptosis.

Also in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in the UK and Canada investigate the role and expression of FGF receptor substrates FRS2 and FRS3 in prostate cancer. The team observed ubiquitous FRS2 and FRS3 transcript and protein expression in both benign and malignant prostate cancer cells. In testing the functional redundancy of FRS2 and FRS3 in prostate cancer cells, the researchers found that specific FRS2 suppression inhibited FGF-induced signaling. "These results suggest functional overlap of FRS2 and FRS3 in mediating mitogenic FGF signaling in the prostate," the authors write. "FRS2 and FRS3 are not over-expressed in tumors but targeted dual inhibition may selectively adversely affect malignant but not benign prostate cells."

And finally in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in the US and Germany investigate Ki67 as a marker of chemotherapy response and prognosis in breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant treatment. The proliferation of Ki67 can predict pathological complete response after neoadjuvatn treatment, the team says. For this study, they analyzed Ki67 expression in biopsies from 552 patients and found Ki67 to be an independent predictor for pathological complete response, overall survival, and distant disease-free survival. "Ki67 has predictive and prognostic value and is a feasible marker for clinical practice," the authors write. "It independently improved the prediction of treatment response and prognosis in a group of breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant treatment."

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.