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This Week in BMC Cancer: Nov 28, 2011


In this week's BMC Cancer, researchers from Lund University write that patients with lobular breast cancer are more likely to have a father who had cancer than a mother who did. "There are several possible theories explaining this phenomenon; one could be imprinting. In that case it could mean that the gene or polymorphism was maternally imprinted and therefore only the father's allele would be expressed, and predispose for cancer in men and breast cancer in their daughters," the researchers write. The father usually had prostate cancer.

A group of Canadian researchers reports on a meta-analysis of 199 oral squamous cell carcinoma samples and controls in which they identified 138 genes that are significantly over-expressed in oral squamous cell carcinoma. From that, they found a four-gene signature, including MMP1, COL4A1, THBS2, and P4HA2, that may predict recurrence. "Considering that our 4-gene signature showed prognostic value for recurrence in two independent patient cohorts, over-expression of this signature may be used for molecular analysis of histologically negative margins in oral carcinoma," the researchers write.

Finally in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in Taiwan look into the link between viral hepatitis and breast cancer risk. Using Taiwanese insurance claims data, the researchers studied 1,958 patients that were diagnosed with breast cancer between 2000 and 2008 and saw that hepatitis C virus infection but not hepatitis B virus infection was associated with breast cancer risk. However, the researchers note that "this finding needs to be replicated in further studies."

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.