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This Week in Cancer Research: Dec 9, 2011


Published online in advance in Cancer Research this week, a team of US researchers reports its method of classifying human brain tumors using lipid imaging with mass spectrometry. The team performed desorption electrospray mass spectrometry, or DESI-MS, on 36 human glioma samples. "Classifiers for subtype, grade and concentration features generated with lipidomic data showed high recognition capability with [greater than] 97 percent cross-validation," the authors write. "Together, our findings offer proof of concept that intra-operative examination and classification of brain tissue by mass spectrometry can provide surgeons, pathologists, and oncologists with critical and previously unavailable information to rapidly guide surgical resections that can improve management of patients with malignant brain tumors."

Also published online in advance in Cancer Research this week, researchers in Israel report their method for in vivo MRI of the estrogen receptor in an orthotopic model of human breast cancer. The team examined novel ER-targeted contrast agents in ER-positive and ER-negative tumors, and found that one in particular, EPTA-Gd, interacted with ER in a way that could differentiate ER-positive and ER-negative tumors with MRI. "In vivo competition experiments confirmed that the enhanced detection capability of EPTA-Gd was based specifically on ER targeting," the authors write. "These results define a novel MRI probe that can permit selective noninvasive imaging of ER-positive tumors in vivo."

Finally online in advance in Cancer Research this week, researchers at Stony Brook University in New York elucidate the possible chemotherapeutic properties of phospho-non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These novel phospho-NSAIDs inhibited the growth of human breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer cell lines and inhibited tumor growth in human xenograft models. "Taken together, our findings show the strong anticancer efficacy and promising safety of phospho-NSAIDs in preclinical models of breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer, suggesting further evaluation as anticancer agents," the authors write.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.