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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Oct 4, 2011

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In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Switzerland report that high levels of circulating CD34+ cells are associated with favorable prognosis for multiple myeloma patients. Multiple myeloma patients are usually treated with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation. Varying levels of CD34+ cells could serve as prognostic indicators for patients undergoing this treatment, the authors write. The team determined CD34+ levels in 158 multiple myeloma patients and found that patients with more than 100,000 peripheral CD34+ cells per milliliter had a better overall survival and a prolonged time to progression than patients with CD34+ counts below 100,000. "Our results suggest that high levels of mobilized peripheral CD34+ cells are associated with favorable outcome in myeloma patients undergoing autologous transplantation," the researchers add.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Finland explore the prognostic role of CIP2A in serous ovarian cancer. The CIP2A oncoprotein is expressed in several solid cancers. The team analyzed CIP2A expression levels in samples from 562 serous ovarian cancer patients, and found that CIP2A expression was associated with high grade, advanced stage, and aneuploidy. CIP2A overexpression was also associated with EGFR protein expression and EGFR amplification. "Our results show that CIP2A associates with reduced survival and parameters associated with high grade in ovarian cancer patients, and may thus be one of the factors that identify aggressive subtype (type II) of this disease," the authors write.

And finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in the US and Europe study the expression and function of the gene CRIPTO-1 in cutaneous melanoma. The team assessed the expression of CRIPTO-1 in melanomas and melanoma cell lines, and found expression of the CRIPTO-1 protein or mRNA in 16 out of 37 primary human cutaneous melanomas and in 12 out of 21 melanoma cell lines. In addition, CRIPTO-1 significantly increased the invasive ability of melanoma cells. "Anti-CR-1 siRNAs produced a significant inhibition of the growth and the invasive ability of melanoma cells," the authors write. "These data indicate that a significant fraction of cutaneous melanoma expresses CR-1 and that this growth factor is involved in the invasion and proliferation of melanoma cells."

The Scan

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.