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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Nov 29, 2011

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In the British Journal of Cancer, researchers in Montréal report on the role of lipoprotein receptor-related protein, or LRP1, in transporting the chemotherapy agent ANG1005, which has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier through receptor-mediated transcytosis using LRP1. "Decreasing LRP1 activity, by RNA silencing or LRP1 competitors, decreased uptake of ANG1005 and Angiopep-2 into U87 glioblastoma cells. Conversely, LRP1 expression and endocytosis rates for ANG1005 and Angiopep-2 increased in U87 cells under conditions that mimicked the microenvironment near aggressive tumours, that is, hypoxic and acidic conditions," the authors write.

Norwegian researchers report their analysis of microRNA expression in anal carcinomas using real-time quantitative PCR. A previous study from the group had found that anal carcinomas fell into two groups based on the expression of E2F-regulated genes, a finding they sought to confirm. The researchers used siRNA to knock down the human papilloma virus 16 E7 in a cervical cell line to see how E7 affected miR-15b, a microRNA associated with E2F-induced genes. "MiR-15b expression correlates with E2F-regulated genes in anal carcinoma and appears to be part of the E2F-regulatory network," the authors conclude.

Finally in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers led by the Université Libre de Bruxelles's Ghanem-Elias Ghanem developed a gene expression profile associated with prognosis for patients with melanoma metastases. "Our data indicate that TYRP1 mRNA expression level, at least in skin metastases, is a prognostic marker for melanoma, and is particularly useful when prognostic pathology parameters at the primary lesion are lacking," the researchers write.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.