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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Mar 13, 2012

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In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in South Korea report on the clinical significance of CD151 over-expression in patients with subtypes of invasive breast cancer. The team measured CD151 expression in 886 breast cancer patients and found that over-expression was significantly associated with larger tumor size, higher nodal stage, advanced stage, absence of estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor, and over-expression of EGFR. "CD151 overexpression resulted in poorer overall survival and disease-free survival, and stage II and III patients with CD151 overexpression demonstrated substantially poorer overall survival," the authors write. "In the five subtypes analyses, CD151 overexpression retained its adverse impact on OS in the Luminal A and quintuple-negative breast cancer subtypes."

Also in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers in Sweden report on the prognostic and treatment predictive value of SATB2 expression in patients with colorectal cancer. The team assessed SATB2 expression in 527 colorectal cancer patients and found that high expression was associated with a prolonged cancer-specific survival and overall survival. "In curatively resected stage III-IV patients, a significant benefit from adjuvant and/or neoadjuvant therapy was observed for SATB2 high tumors and high SATB2 expression in rectal cancer correlated with an enhanced effect of neoadjuvant therapy," the authors write.

Finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Japan report on the over-expression of PFTK1 in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and its potential to predict resistance to chemotherapy. The team examined PFTK1 expression in 77 esophageal cancer patients, and found significant upregulation compared with epithelium. "PFTK1 expression was positive in 51.6% of the tumors, but did not correlate with any clinicopathological parameter," the authors write. "The 5-year overall survival rate was poorer in patients positive for PFTK1 than those with negative expression. Uni- and multivariate analyses identified PFTK1 as an independent marker of prognosis."

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.