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This Week in BMC Cancer: Apr 2, 2012


In a paper published online in advance in BMC Cancer this week, investigators at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg in Germany present their analysis of the mRNA expression levels of different osteopontin splice variants in tumor samples from 124 soft tissue sarcoma patients. When the researchers applied a multivariate Cox's proportional hazard regression model, they found that high mRNA expression levels of osteopontin splice variants "are significantly associated with poor prognosis in STS [soft tissue sarcoma] patients." Further, the researchers found that "high mRNA expression levels of OPN [osteopontin]-b and OPN-c correlated with a high risk of tumor-related death in STS patients that received radiotherapy," they write.

Elsewhere in the journal, researchers at China's Sun Yat-sen University show that "expression of the phosphorylated MEK5 protein is associated with TNM [tumor, node, metastasis] staging of colorectal cancer," or CRC. Specifically, the Sun Yat-sen team shows in a Western blotting analysis involving 19 cases of primary CRC lesions paired with normal mucosa that "overexpression of pMEK5 in CRC tissues was significantly correlated to the depth of invasion, lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, and high preoperative CEA [carcinoembryonic] antigen level." Overall, the authors say that "pMEK5 expression is correlated with the staging of CRC, and its expression might be helpful to the TNM staging system of CRC."

The Scan

Call to Look Again

More than a dozen researchers penned a letter in Science saying a previous investigation into the origin of SARS-CoV-2 did not give theories equal consideration.

Not Always Trusted

In a new poll, slightly more than half of US adults have a great deal or quite a lot of trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hill reports.

Identified Decades Later

A genetic genealogy approach has identified "Christy Crystal Creek," the New York Times reports.

Science Papers Report on Splicing Enhancer, Point of Care Test for Sexual Transmitted Disease

In Science this week: a novel RNA structural element that acts as a splicing enhancer, and more.