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


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

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.