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This Week in BMC Cancer: Mar 26, 2012

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In BMC Cancer this week, researchers in France report on the prognostic significance of anti-p53 and anti-KRAS circulating antibodies in patients with esophageal cancer. The team measured serum p53 and KRAS antibodies in 97 esophageal patients treated with chemoradiotherapy, and found that the 28 percent of them with anti-p53 antibodies had a shorter overall survival. None of the long-term survivors had these antibodies, the team adds. Further, KRAS antibodies were found in 23 percent of the patients, but there was no significant difference in survival between the patients who did and those who did not have these antibodies. Neither of these antibodies was associated with treatment with chemoradiotherapy. "Anti-p53 abs are an independent prognostic factor for esophageal cancer patients treated with CRT," the team writes. "Individualized therapeutic approaches should be evaluated in this population."

Also in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in China report an association between microRNA-135a and breast cancer cell migration and invasion. The team determined expression levels of miR-135a in breast tumor sample tissues and found that it is highly expressed in metastatic breast tumors. In addition, the team found that miR-135a expression is required for the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells, and that metastasis suppressor HOXA10 is a direct target of miR-135a in breast cancer cells. "Our analysis showed that miR-135a suppressed the expression of HOXA10 both at the mRNA and protein level, and its ability to promote cellular migration and invasion was partially reversed by overexpression of HOXA10," the authors write. "Our results indicate that miR-135a is an onco-miRNA [and] HOXA10 can partially reverse the miR-135a invasive phenotype."

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.