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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Aug 31, 2011


In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Sweden say that over-expression of a podocalyxin-like protein is an independent factor of poor prognosis in colorectal cancer. The protein, PODXL, has been associated with an aggressive tumor phenotype and poor prognosis in several cancer types. For this study, the team evaluated PODXL expression in 536 incidences of colorectal cancer, and found that high expression of the protein was significantly associated with unfavorable clinicopathological characteristics, and shorter cancer-specific survival time.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Singapore and Australia present a study on the sequential expression of putative stem cell markers in gastric carcinogenesis. The team investigated the expression of putative stem cell markers CD44, Musashi-1, and CD133 in relation to prognosis and chemoresponse in gastric carcinogenesis, and found that expression of the three markers was significantly elevated in gastric carcinogenesis, relative to normal gastric mucosa. "Precancerous lesions, including intestinal metaplasia and dysplasia, demonstrated increased expression of CD44 and Musashi-1," the authors write. "CD133 was predominantly expressed along the border between intramucosal carcinoma and connective tissue at later stages." In addition, high levels of CD44 and CD133 correlated with worse patient survival.

Finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers from Spain present a study on the prognostic evaluation of neutropenia in seemingly stable adult cancer patients. The team reviewed 861 episodes of febrile neutropenia in outpatients with solid tumors, including 692 patients with clinically stable disease. "We aimed to investigate the prognosis of this latter group and explore the possibility of stratifying it according to the presenting features," the authors write. The team found that the rates of complications and bacteraemia in apparently stable patients were 7.3 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively, and that a few additional variables like ECOG performance status may help predict the clinical course for these patients. "A very simple assessment is useful to classify the patients with febrile neutropenia according to the risk of complications," the team adds.

The Scan

Push Toward Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports the US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Deer Exposure

About 40 percent of deer in a handful of US states carry antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Millions But Not Enough

NPR reports the US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, but that billions are needed.

PNAS Papers on CRISPR-Edited Cancer Models, Multiple Sclerosis Neuroinflammation, Parasitic Wasps

In PNAS this week: gene-editing approach for developing cancer models, role of extracellular proteins in multiple sclerosis, and more.