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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Nov 1, 2011

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In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Denmark report that low expression of the ANXA10 gene is associated an aggressive course of bladder cancer. Using two bladder cancer cell lines and an additional set of 97 advanced tumors, the team investigated ANXA10 expression, and found that low expression correlated with shorter progression-free survival in patients with low-stage disease. In addition, low ANXA10 expression in patients with more advanced tumors correlated with unfavorable prognosis. "We conclude that ANXA10 may be a clinical relevant marker for predicting outcome in both early and advanced stages of bladder cancer," the authors write.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Taiwan report on the risk of stroke in patients with head and neck cancers. In a retrospective cohort study, the team analyzed data from 13,390 head and neck cancer patients diagnosed between 2000 and 2002, and found that the overall incidence of stroke was 1.44-fold higher in cancer patients than in the reference population. "The cancer-to-reference stroke incidence rate ratio was age dependent and the highest in the age group younger than 40 years and decreased with aging," the authors write. "Comparing different therapeutic modalities, HNC patients receiving both radiotherapy and chemotherapy had the highest stroke risk, followed in sequence by those who had CT alone, RT alone, and without therapy."

Finally, researchers in France identify prognostic biomarkers in neuroblastoma. The team analyzed microRNA expression in 227 neuroblastoma patients, and found that 15 of 17 miRNAs that differentiate high-risk from low-risk neuroblastoma belonged to the imprinted 14q32.31 miRNA cluster. Two of these, miR-487b and miR-410, were significantly down-regulated in the high-risk group, the team adds. In addition, miR-487b expression was associated with overall survival and disease-free survival in all 227 patients, and both miR-487b and miR-410 expression were significantly associated with disease-free survival in the non-MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma subtype. "Expression of miR-487b and miR-410 shows predictive value beyond the classical high-/low-risk stratification," the authors write.

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.