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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Jun 27, 2011

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In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in France suggest it is possible to predict the outcome of grade II gliomas treated with temozolomide using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The researchers studied adult patients with progressive gliomas confirmed by MRI, and administered temozolomide every 28 days for 14 months. About 86 percent of the patients experienced a decrease in the volume of their tumors – 28 percent of these tumors subsequently resumed growing despite continuing treatment, the authors write.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Italy present findings from a phase III study of central nervous system metastases during temozolomide- and dacarbazine- based treatment regimens for untreated stage IV melanoma patients. A total of 150 patients were randomly assigned to receive either oral temozolomide or intravenous dacarbazine – in one year, the cumulative incidence of central nervous system failure was 20.6 percent for the temozolomide group and 31.1 percent of the dacarbazine group, the authors write. In patients with central nervous system metastases, the median survival time was 13.5 months in the temozolomide arm and 11.5 months in the dacarbazine arm. "The incidence of central nervous system failures in metastatic melanoma was not significantly reduced and the clinical course was not modified substituting a dacarbazine-based regimen with a temozolomide–based regimen," the researchers add. "Patients who developed central nervous system metastases did not have a worse prognosis than patients progressing in other sites and should not be excluded from new investigational studies."

And finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers at Stanford University target SDF-1 and CXCR4 to inhibit tumor vasculature for the treatment of glioblastomas. Local recurrence of glioblastomas is a major cause of patient mortality after treatment, the authors write. Blocking chemokine stromal cell-derived factor-1 and its receptor CXC chemokine receptor 4 prevents or delays tumor recurrence after irradiation by inhibiting the recruitment of CD11b+ monocytes and macrophages, which participate in revascularizing the tumor, the researchers say. "Areas of interest and debate in the literature include the process by which endothelial cells die after irradiation and the identity/origin of the cells that reconstitute the tumor blood vessels after injury," they add. "Understanding the processes that mediate tumor revascularization will guide the improvement of clinical strategies for preventing recurrence of glioblastoma after irradiation."

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.