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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Jan 17, 2012


In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Belgium assess the clinicopathological significance of IDO1 expression in colorectal cancer. Because it modulates T-cell response to infection, IDO1 may be co-opted by carcinomas to create an immunosuppressive state, the authors write. In this study, the team investigated IDO1 expression in three colon cancer cell lines, and found that higher IDO1 expression at the tumor invasion site was an adverse prognostic marker. "Higher IDO1 expression at the tumor invasion front is involved in colorectal cancer progression and correlates with impaired clinical outcome, suggesting that IDO1 is an independent prognostic indicator for colorectal cancer," the team writes.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Kentucky and Alabama report a microRNA gene expression signature that predicts response to erlotinib in epithelial cancer cell lines. Using a non-small-cell lung cancer cell line model, the team identified 13 miRNA genes whose expression can predict response to EGFR inhibition. "Signature genes target proteins that are enriched for epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition genes," the authors write. "Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition predicts EGFR inhibitor resistance and metastatic behavior."

And finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Denmark assessed the utility of proteins YKL-40 and CRP as predictors of cancer risk. The team measured plasma levels of these two biomarkers in 8,706 people, and found that elevated YKL-40 levels were associated with increased risk of gastrointestinal cancer, independent of CRP levels, whereas elevated CRP levels were associated with higher risk of lung cancer independent of YKL-40 levels.

The Scan

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.