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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: Apr 28, 2011

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Published online in advance in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in the US, Canada, and Israel say early toxicity is a predictor of long-term survival in patients with high-grade gliomas. Patients with high-grade gliomas are treated with surgery followed by chemoradiation. The researchers analyzed acute and late neurological toxicities in 2,610 patients — among them, there were 182 acute and 83 late neurological toxicity events. The occurrence of acute toxicities was significantly associated with late toxicities, which in turn predicted poorer overall survival, the authors write.

Also published online in advance in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers in the US and Canada present results from a study to estimate the risk of contralateral breast cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers. The researchers tested 810 women with state I or II breast cancer with an identified BRCA mutation in the family. Overall, the authors write, 18.4 percent of the women developed a contralateral breast cancer, and women younger than 50 at the time of diagnosis were significantly more likely to develop a contralateral breast cancer at 15 years after diagnosis, compared with women older than 50. "The risk of contralateral breast cancer risk in BRCA mutation carriers declines with the age of diagnosis and increases with the number of first-degree relatives affected with breast cancer," the team adds.

And finally, published online in advance in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Italy compared HER2 status in primary and paired metastatic sites of gastric carcinoma. As they write in the article, they found that "high concordance observed between HER2 results obtained by both IHC and FISH on primary tumors and corresponding metastases suggests that in gastric cancer HER2 status is maintained in most cases unchanged during the metastatic process."

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