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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Feb 14, 2012

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In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Poland investigate how the frequency of T regulatory cells modulates the survival of multiple myeloma patients. "This study identifies several abnormalities of immune system in MM [multiple myeloma], which only partly could be normalised after successful therapy," the authors write. "The dysfunction of immune system such as decreased antigen presentation along with increased frequencies of suppressive cells and cytokines might facilitate progression of the disease and infectious complications limiting survival of MM patients."

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in the UK report a pilot study of the use of circulating tumor cells as biomarkers for pancreatic cancer. The team took blood samples from 54 patients, and used two platforms — isolation by size of epithelial tumour cells and CellSearch — to find CTCs. "ISET detected CTCs in more patients than CellSearch (93% vs 40%) and in higher numbers," the authors write. "Heterogeneity observed for epithelial cell adhesion molecule, pan-cytokeratin (CK), E-Cadherin, Vimentin and CK 7 expression in CTCs may account for discrepancy in CTC number between platforms." ISET offers researchers flexible CTC characterization and could be used to develop CTC biomarkers for pancreatic cancers.

And finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in the Netherlands report on gene expression profiles of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded glioma samples. The team performed gene expression profiling on 55 paired FFPE-fresh frozen glioma samples. They show what "expression data from FFPE material can be used to assign samples to intrinsic molecular subtypes identified using FF material." In addition, the researchers say, "this assignment allows the use of archival material, including material derived from large-randomised clinical trials, to determine the predictive and/or prognostic value of 'intrinsic glioma subtypes' on Exon arrays."

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.