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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Oct 18, 2011

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In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Italy report the presence of human papillomavirus in the breath condensate of lung cancer patients. For this study, they investigated HPV infections in 89 lung cancer patients and 68 controls, and were able to detect HPV in the exhaled breath condensate of 16.4 percent of the lung cancer patients. "HPV 16 and 31 turned out to be the most widespread genotypes. The HPV positivity in airways [and the] smoking habit was seen to independently increase the individual's susceptibility to developing lung cancer," the authors write.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Japan report on the prognostic significance of CD45RO+ memory T cells in renal cell carcinoma. The team analyzed data on CD45RO expression from 105 renal cell carcinoma patients, and found that patients with a higher grade or more advanced stage of disease had higher densities of those T cells. In addition, patients with low levels of CD45RO+ had a significantly better prognosis than patients with a high level. "CD45RO+ memory T-cell status has a significant independent prognostic value, indicating that the adaptive immune response is functionally critical in human renal cell carcinoma," the team adds.

Finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, a team of US researchers say the YKL-40 glycoprotein is a valuable breast cancer biomarker to help determine grade and differentiation. YKL-40 levels are elevated in a number of cancers, and increased levels often correlate with poorer survival. For this study, the researchers measured YKL-40 expression in breast cancer tissue samples, and found that breast ductal carcinoma in situ expressed low and moderate levels of YKL-40, while YKL-40 levels in invasive cancer positively correlated with tumor grade and Her2/neu. "These data demonstrate that expression levels of YKL-40 are associated with tumor grade, poor differentiation, and other breast cancer markers, highlighting that tissue levels of YKL-40 serve as a valuable biomarker for breast cancer diagnosis and prognosis," the authors write.

The Scan

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.

Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.