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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

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.