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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Feb 21, 2012

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This week in the British Journal of Cancer, a team of US researchers investigates the use of quality of life as a prognostic survival tool for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. The researchers assessed baseline QoL for a group of kidney cancer patients and found that longer progression-free survival and overall survival were associated with higher baseline QoL. "The results support evaluation of patient-reported QoL symptoms at baseline as a prognostic indicator of survival in clinical research and practice," the authors add.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Japan report the results of a phase I trial of a novel HER2/EGFR dual inhibitor called TAK-285. The researchers determined the maximum tolerated dose based on patient testing, and found that the compound was well-tolerated. "Absorption of TAK-285 was rapid after oral dosing, and plasma exposure at steady-state increased in a dose-proportional fashion for doses ranging from 50 to 300 mg b.i.d," the authors write. "A partial response was observed for one patient with parotid cancer who received 300 mg b.i.d. The toxicity profile and [pharmacokinetic] properties of oral TAK-285 warrant further evaluation."

Finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in France investigate a combination of statins and taxanes, and its effect on cancer cells. The team studied the combined effects of lovastatin and docetaxel on gastric cancer cells, and found that the lovastatin suppressed expression of genes involved in cell division, and that both drugs triggered apoptosis. "Their combination was more than additive. A marked rise in the cell-cycle inhibitor p21, together with reduction of aurora kinases A and B, cyclins B1 and D1 proteins was induced by lovastatin alone or in combination with docetaxel," the authors write. "These results suggest that the association of lovastatin and docetaxel, or lovastatin alone, shows promise as plausible anticancer strategies, either as a direct therapeutic approach or following acquired P-glycoprotein-dependent resistance."

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