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This Week in the British Journal of Cancer: May 16, 2011


In the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in France and Canada evaluate compliance and persistence of use of tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors in a population-based cohort of 13,479 women with breast cancer. Overall, the researchers write, 18.9 percent of women on aromatase inhibitors discontinued their treatments within the first five years, as compared to 31 percent of women on tamoxifen. Among older women, fewer discontinued treatment with aromatase inhibitors than with tamoxifen. "Among older women, the real-life patterns of use of aromatase inhibitors show high rates of compliance. In younger women, tamoxifen is prematurely discontinued for half of patients," the authors add.

Also in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers in Sweden and at the University of Minnesota say growth differentiation factor 15 can be used as a prognostic marker of recurrence in colorectal cancer. GDF15 has been associated with activation of the p53 pathway in human cancers, the researchers write. The team analyzed GDF15 protein expression in 320 patients with colorectal cancer, and found that patients with moderate to high intensity of GDF15 immunostaining had a higher cancer recurrence rate than patients with no or low GDF15 intensity. "Patients with high plasma levels of GDF15 had statistically shorter time to recurrence and reduced overall survival," the authors write. "Growth differentiation factor 15 serves as a negative prognostic marker in colorectal cancer."

And finally in the British Journal of Cancer this week, researchers at Duke University Medical Center and North Carolina Central University suggest that targeting expression of the GLI1 gene in human inflammatory breast cancer cells enhances apoptosis and attenuates migration of cancer cells. By evaluating a panel of breast cancer cell lines, the researchers found that downregulation of GLI1 expression in the SUM149 and rSUM149 cells lines resulted in decreased proliferation of cancer cells and increased apoptosis. GLI1 suppression also inhibited cell migration, the authors write, which "supports the feasibility of targeting GLI1 as a novel therapeutic strategy for inflammatory breast cancer patients."

The Scan

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.

Study Reviews Family, Provider Responses to Rapid Whole-Genome Sequencing Follow-up

Investigators identified in the European Journal of Human Genetics variable follow-up practices after rapid whole-genome sequencing.

BMI-Related Variants Show Age-Related Stability in UK Biobank Participants

Researchers followed body mass index variant stability with genomic structural equation modeling and genome-wide association studies of 40- to 72-year olds in PLOS Genetics.

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.