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


In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in California report results of a phase II trial of a modified FOLFOX6 and erlotinib combination therapy in patients with metastatic or advanced adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and gastro-esophageal junction. The researchers treated 33 patients — with previously untreated cancer — with the combination therapy, and observed two complete responses and 15 partial responses. Median progression-free survival was 5.5 months and median overall survival was 11 months. "In patients with Eso/GEJ adenocarcinoma, mFOLFOX6 and erlotinib is active, has an acceptable toxicity profile and FOLFOX±erlotinib could be considered for further development," the authors write.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Japan write that tumor-suppressive microRNA-874 regulates novel cancer networks in maxillary sinus squamous cell carcinoma. The team found that miR-874 was significantly reduced in these cancer cells. Although there were 23 miRNAs that were significantly reduced in the cancer cells, miR-874 was the most downregulated. "We found potential tumor suppressive functions such as inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and invasion. A molecular target search of miR-874 revealed that PPP1CA was directly regulated by miR-874," the authors write. "Overexpression of PPP1CA was observed in MSSCC clinical specimens. Silencing of the PPP1CA gene significantly inhibited cancer cell proliferation and invasion."

Finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in New York, Canada, and Israel present a genetic architecture of prostate cancer in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. The team genotyped 29 known prostate cancer SNPs in 963 prostate cancer cases and 613 controls of Ashkenazi ancestry. Ten of 23 SNPs that passed the study's quality-control procedures were associated with prostate cancer risk in Ashkenazi patients, and nine of those 10 SNPs were originally discovered in other Europeans. "We see no convincing evidence that the genetic architecture of prostate cancer in the AJ population is substantively different from that observed in other populations of European ancestry," the authors write.

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.