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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: May 15, 2012

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In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in the UK examine the differential effects statins have on the metastatic behavior of prostate cancer. They isolated bone marrow stroma from patients undergoing surgery for non-malignant prostate cancer and assessed the ability of prostate cancer cells to bind to the marrow stroma and form colonies while exposed to an array of different statins. From this, the researchers found that atorvastatin, mevastatin, simvastatin, and rosuvastatin act directly on prostate cancer cells and significantly reduced invasion toward the bone marrow stroma by an average of 66.7 percent. Further, these statins also significantly reduced the number and size of colonies formed with the marrow stroma. Pravastatin, though, does not have the same effect, they add. "Statin-treated colonies displayed a more compact morphology containing cells of a more epithelial phenotype, indicative of a reduction in the migrational ability of PC-3 cells," the researchers say.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, a team led by investigators at the Institute of Cancer Research reports that men with germline BRCA1 mutations are at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. The team screened 913 men with prostate cancer, aged 36 to 86, for germline BRCA1 mutations, and found four deleterious mutations and 45 unclassified variants. The deleterious mutations confer a relative risk of prostate cancer of around 3.75-fold, the team adds. "This study shows evidence for an increased risk of prostate cancer in men who harbor germline mutations in BRCA1," the team says. "This could have a significant impact on possible screening strategies and targeted treatments."

Finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers at the University of Birmingham in the UK and elsewhere report on the effect ductal carcinoma in situ grade has on recurrence 15 years after diagnosis. They identified 700 DCIS cases, and after a median follow up of 183 months, they identified 102 first local recurrences, 49 of which were invasive. The researchers calculated that median time to first non-invasive recurrence was 15 months, and 60 months for invasive recurrence, and that median time to invasive recurrence was 76 months from initial DCIS diagnosis, if it was initially high-grade, and 131 months if it was low or intermediate grade. "Short-term follow-up of patients diagnosed with DCIS will miss significant numbers of events, especially invasive local recurrences," the authors write.

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