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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: May 8, 2012

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In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Hong Kong and Australia present a method to inhibit hepatocellular carcinoma metastases in cell lines and in mice. In previous studies, the team demonstrated that PPARγ activation inhibits hepatocarcinogenesis. For this study, the team infected human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines with adenovirus-expressing PPARγ, and found that these cells markedly suppressed cancer cell migration. Further, the researchers found that invasiveness of the treated cancer cells was diminished up to 60 percent. "Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma exerts an inhibitory effect on the invasive and metastatic potential of HCC [hepatocellular carcinoma] in vitro and in vivo, and is thus, a target for the prevention and treatment of HCC metastases," the team writes.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Ireland show that apoptosome-dependent caspase activation proteins may be useful as prognostic markers for stage II and III colorectal cancers. The team performed a systematic analysis of the immunohistochemical expression of the key proteins involved in apoptosome-dependent caspase activation in a cohort of colorectal cancer patients, and found that Pro-caspase 3 and APAF1 "have potential clinical utility as predictive markers in stage II and III colorectal cancer, respectively." Further, the team reports having found that APAF1 was associated with better recurrence-free and overall survival in patients receiving chemotherapy.

Finally in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers in Denmark this week report on a role for human papilloma virus in head and neck cancer. The team examined fresh frozen and laser microdissected-paraffin-embedded samples from HPV-positive and HPV-negative head and neck cancer patients, finding that HPV-positive patients showed a distinct miRNA profile from HPV-negative patients. "This study adds new knowledge to the known pathogenic pathways of HPV and substantiates the oncogenic role of HPV in subsets of HNSCCs [head and neck squamous cell carcinomas]," the team adds.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.