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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Dec 20, 2011

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In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in France report that there are several clinical toxicities correlated with survival in kidney cancer patients treated with sunitinib and sorafenib. By analyzing toxicities induced by these drugs in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma — including digestive, cardiac, dermatologic and asthenia side effects — the team found that median overall survival was significantly improved in patients with grade three or four clinical toxicities compared with patients with grade one or two toxicities. These toxicities, the authors write, could be used as independent prognostic factors of better survival in these patients.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in China report that the expression of CIP2A in kidney cancer patients correlates with metastasis and survival. The researchers studied CIP2A expression in 107 renal cell carcinoma patients and found that it was over-expressed in renal cell carcinoma tissues. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma showed even higher CIP2A levels than papillary or chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, the authors write. In addition, CIP2A over-expression correlated with lymph node metastasis and distant metastasis, and implied a poor survival rate for patients. CIP2A may be a "novel target for prevention and treatment of RCC metastasis and recurrence," the researchers add.

Finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in the UK study the effects of letrozole as a monotherapy in elderly women with early operable breast cancer. The researchers treated 104 patients with early estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor-positive breast cancer with letrozole from February 2001 to September 2009, and found that 85 of them responded to the therapy — in 19 women, the disease stabilized; in 42 there was a reduction in the size of the tumor; and 24 had a complete response. "Letrozole is a reasonable alternative in elderly women with early ER/PR-positive invasive breast cancer who are unfit or unwilling to undergo standard therapy," the authors write.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.