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This Week in BMC Cancer: Mar 29, 2011

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This week in BMC Cancer, a team of researchers at Ohio State University report on a novel compound, FLLL32, generated from curcumin, a naturally-occurring phenolic compound show to exhibit several antitumor behaviors. "FLLL32 possesses superior biochemical properties and more specifically targets STAT3, a transcription factor important in tumor cell survival, proliferation, metastasis, and chemotherapy resistance," the authors write. The new compound decreased STAT3 DNA binding, which suggests it works against osteosarcoma cell lines, they add.

Also in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in Japan say the expression of protein CD168 in gastric cancer may have prognostic value. The team examined CD168 expression in 196 gastric cancer patients, and found that CD168 positivity was "significantly correlated with the depth of invasion, nodal involvement, and vessel invasion." Further analysis showed that CD168 positivity was also correlated with significantly higher mortality CD168 negativity. "Our results suggest that cancerous CD168 positivity is strongly related to the invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer tumors," the authors write.

And finally in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in the US and Austria say replicase-based plasmid DNA shows anti-tumor activity. The researchers evaluated the anti-tumor activity of a plasmid called pSIN-beta, which encodes the sindbis RNA replicase genes in mice with model tumors, and compared it to a traditional pCMV-beta plasmid. What they found was that in mice, pSIN-beta "more effectively" delayed tumor growth than pCMV-beta and eradicated the tumors entirely in some cases. "Replicase-based plasmid may be exploited to generate intracellular dsRNA to control tumor growth," the authors write.

The Scan

J&J Booster Support

A US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted to support a booster dose of Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to the Los Angeles Times.

To Keep the Cases Moving

The president of the UK Royal College of Pathologists tells the Financial Times that more investment is needed to tackle a backlog of cases.

NAS Expels Archaeologist

Science reports Luis Jaime Castillo Butters' expulsion is the first of an international member from the US National Academy of Sciences.

PLOS Papers on Angelman Syndrome-Like Cases, Salmonella Paratyphi A, SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil

In PLOS this week: exome sequencing analysis of Angelman syndrome-like cases, genetic epidemiology of Salmonella Paratyphi A, and more.