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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

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.