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This Week in BMC Cancer: Apr 23, 2012

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In BMC Cancer this week, researchers in China report on the clinical features of multiple primary malignancies involving hepatocellular carcinoma. The team analyzed data from 68 liver cancer patients, 35 of whom had undergone curative liver resection. All 68 patients had extrahepatic primary malignancies — nasophargeal carcinoma being the most common followed by colorectal and lung cancer. The team found that synchronous and non-radical treatment for the extrahepatic malignancies was significantly associated with poorer overall survival. "Curative treatment is an independent predictive factor for [overall survival] and HCC-specific [overall survival], and should been taken into account both for synchronous and metachronous patients," the authors write. "[Multiple primary malignancy] patients involving HCC should not be excluded from radical resection for HCC."

Also in BMC Cancer this week, researchers in Japan report on the effect body mass index has on the survival of Japanese breast cancer patients. The team assessed the BMIs of 653 breast cancer patients and found that higher BMI was associated with an increased risk for all-cause death. Further, when analyzed by hormone receptor status, the study suggests there is an association between BMI and mortality risk among patients with ER-positive or PgR-positive tumors. "Our results suggest that both higher BMI and lower BMI are associated with an increased risk of mortality, especially among premenopausal patients or among patients with hormonal receptor positive tumors," the authors write. "Breast cancer patients should be informed of the potential importance of maintaining an appropriate body weight after they have been diagnosed."

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.