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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Dec 6, 2011

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In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Germany reported their work in using VEGF-targeted therapies to treat everolimus-resistant metastatic renal cell carcinoma. The researchers recruited 40 patients for the study, treated 19 with sunitinib, eight with sorafenib, 10 with dovitinib, and three with bevacizumab or interferon. Treatment with sorafenib was the only therapy correlated with a prolonged progression-free survival in everolimus-resistant patients, the team found. "Vascular endothelial growth factor targeted therapy shows promising activity in everolimus-resistant metastatic renal cancer and warrants further studies," the authors add.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Japan say a temporary drop in blood pressure after treatment with bevacizumab is associated with treatment success in advanced colorectal cancer patients. The team measured the blood pressure of 81 colorectal cancer patients at zero, 90, and 180 minutes after administration of bevacizumab. About 30 percent of the patients had a small temporary drop in systolic blood pressure, and the researchers found that these patients had a significantly longer median time-to-treatment failure than the patients whose blood pressure didn't change after treatment. "This study suggests that a temporary blood pressure drop after bevacizumab administration could be a predictive marker for bevacizumab treatment," the authors write.

Finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Norway report that microRNA-15b appears to be part of the E2F gene family's regulatory network in HPV-related cancers. In a previous study, the team found that anal tumors can be sub-divided into two groups based on the expression of E2F-regulated genes. For this study, the team screened the tumors for any miRNAs present and found that the expression of miR-15b was highly correlated with E2F-induced genes. Further, when the researchers knocked down the HPV16 E7 gene in an anal cancer cell line, levels of miR-15b also decreased.