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

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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.

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