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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: May 9, 2011

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In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in California and China say that downregulation of SOX2 in cancer stem cells suppresses the growth and metastasis of lung cancer. The researchers show that D121-SP cancer cells contain cancer stem cell characteristics as demonstrated by an upregulation of transcription factors SOX2 and Oct 4. More importantly, the migration of D121-SP was decreased and apoptosis was upregulated after a knockdown of SOX2 in the cells, the authors write. "Downregulation of SOX2 in D121 cells markedly suppressed their metastatic potential in syngeneic mice," they add.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, a team from Yale University School of Medicine presents findings from a study of effective treatment of chemotherapy-resistant breast cancer in vitro and in vivo using a factor VII-targeted photodynamic therapy. The in vitro efficacy of the targeted photodynamic therapy was 12-fold stronger than that of non-targeted photodynamic therapy in MCF-7 and MDR breast cancer cells, the authors write. In addition, the targeted therapy was effective and safe for the treatment of chemoresistant breast tumors in nude mouse models. "We conclude that fVII-tPDT is effective and safe for the treatment of chemoresistant breast cancer, presumably by simultaneously targeting both the tumour neovasculature and chemoresistant cancer cells," the researchers add. "Thus, this dual-targeting fVII-tPDT could also have therapeutic potential for the treatment of other chemoresistant cancers."

And finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Canada determine the cost effectiveness of outpatient treatment for febrile neutropaenia in adult cancer patients. The researchers compared four treatment strategies for low-risk febrile neutropaenia. They found that the option of outpatient management with oral antibiotics saved money, but was less effective than outpatient management with IV antibiotics. "For adult cancer patients with an episode of low-risk FN, treatment in hospital is more expensive and less effective than outpatient strategies," the authors write.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.