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


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.

The Scan

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.

Breast Cancer Risk Gene Candidates Found by Multi-Ancestry Low-Frequency Variant Analysis

Researchers narrowed in on new and known risk gene candidates with variant profiles for almost 83,500 individuals with breast cancer and 59,199 unaffected controls in Genome Medicine.

Health-Related Quality of Life Gets Boost After Microbiome-Based Treatment for Recurrent C. Diff

A secondary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data in JAMA Network Open suggests an investigational oral microbiome-based drug may lead to enhanced quality of life measures.

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.