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This Week in Cancer Prevention Research


In Cancer Prevention Research this week, a team led by researchers at the Mayo Clinic analyze the effects of alcohol intake on the risk of different molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer in older women. Increased alcohol consumption is a putative risk factor for colorectal cancer, but most studies show a link between the two in men, not necessarily in women, the researchers write. The team evaluated associations between alcohol intake and both overall incidence of colorectal cancer, and incidence by subtype, in women 55 to 69 years of age. Compared to non-consumers, those who consumed alcohol were not significantly associated with either overall risk of colorectal cancer, nor risk for the various subtypes of the disease. "These data do not support an adverse effect from alcohol intake on colorectal cancer risk, overall or by specific molecularly-defined subtypes, among older women," the team adds.

Also in Cancer Prevention Research this week, NCI and NIH researchers present a study on the possible association between non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and glioma. Several case-control studies have suggested that NSAIDs reduce risk for glioblastoma, but prospective investigations have not, the authors write. For this study, the team prospectively investigated the associations between NSAID use and risk of all gliomas, as well as the glioblastoma subtype. "The analysis included 302,767 individuals, with 341 incident glioma cases (264 glioblastoma)," the authors write. "No association was observed between regular use of aspirin and risk of glioma or glioblastoma as compared with no use." The team observed the same results for non-aspirin NSAIDs.

And finally in Cancer Prevention Research this week, US researchers suggest that screening for the CA125 ovarian cancer biomarker in high-risk women should be personalized according to the patient's menopausal status. Previous screening trials for early detection of ovarian cancer in postmenopausal women have used the standard cut-point of 35 U/mL, yielding about a 2 percent false positive rate. But when the same cut-point is used in trials of premenopausal women, the false positive rate is substantially higher, the team writes. In investigating data from 3,692 women, the team found that menopausal status affects CA125 levels, and that to achieve an optimal 2 percent false positive rate across the board, the cut-point for CA125 should be personalized according to that status — 50 U/mL for premenopausal women, 40 U/mL for premenopausal on oral contraceptives, and 35 U/mL for postmenopausal women.

The Scan

Booster Push

New data shows a decline in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficacy over time, which the New York Times says Pfizer is using to argue its case for a booster, even as the lower efficacy remains high.

With Help from Mr. Fluffington, PurrhD

Cats could make good study animals for genetic research, the University of Missouri's Leslie Lyons tells the Atlantic.

Man Charged With Threatening to Harm Fauci, Collins

The Hill reports that Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., was charged with making threats against federal officials.

Nature Papers Present Approach to Find Natural Products, Method to ID Cancer Driver Mutations, More

In Nature this week: combination of cryogenic electron microscopy with genome mining helps uncover natural products, driver mutations in cancer, and more.