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This Week in Cancer


The levels of circulating endothelial cell progenitors and CXCR4-positive circulating endothelial cells in the blood are correlated with prognosis after bevacizumab combination chemotherapy in people with metastatic colorectal cancer, report researchers from the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research in the September issue of Cancer. The researchers analyzed whole blood samples from 69 people with metastatic colorectal cancer that were taken before treatment and on days 4 and 14 of treatment, and were analyzed using flow cytometry. Their findings suggest "that these surrogate markers may play a core role in the selection of candidates for bevacizumab treatment," the researchers write.

In the same issue, Joobae Park and colleagues at the Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, in Seoul, South Korea write that a SNP, rs769236, found near the CCNA2 promoter is associated with an increased risk of some cancers. The researchers analyzed 45 SNPs found in cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases in 106 lung cancers and 108 controls, and one SNP, rs769236, was analyzed in 1,989 cancer cases (those cases included breast, colorectal, gastric, hepatocellular carcinomas, and lung cancers) and in 1096 controls. They found that the SNP was associated with increased risk of colon, liver, and lung cancers.

In an online article in Cancer, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers say that the benefit of endocrine therapy in triple negative breast cancer patients is unclear. In their retrospective study, the researchers divided 1,257 patients into three groups based on their ER/PR percentages and determined the groups' three-year recurrence-free survival and overall survival rate."In this cohort, a low ER/PR level (1%-5%) does not appear to have any significant impact on survival outcomes," they write. The researchers also note that "endocrine therapy had no impact on survival outcomes among groups."

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.