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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

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.