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This Week in Cancer Research: Sep 30, 2011


In Cancer Research this week, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, report that microRNA-708 induces apoptosis and suppresses tumorigenicity in renal cancer cells. MiR-708 is part of a family of miRNAs that has been implicated in stress control. The researchers analyzed the expression of miR-708 in human renal cancer cell samples, and found that restoration of miR-708 expression in the cells caused a decrease in cell growth, cell invasion, and migration, and significantly increased apoptosis. "Moreover, intratumoral delivery of miR-708 was sufficient to trigger in vivo regression of established tumors in murine xenograft models of human RCC," the authors write. "Taken together, our findings define a major tumor suppressive role for miR-708, which may offer an attractive new target for prognostic and therapeutic intervention in RCC."

Also in Cancer Research this week, researchers in the US show that protein Wnt5a suppresses epithelial ovarian cancer by promoting cancer cell aging. In their study, the researchers show that Wnt5a is expressed at significantly lower levels in human epithelial ovarian cancer cells compared with normal ovarian surface epithelium or fallopian tube epithelium. "Notably, a lower level of Wnt5a expression correlates with tumor stage and predicts shorter overall survival in epithelial ovarian cancer patients," the authors write. "Significantly, restoration of Wnt5a expression inhibits the proliferation of human epithelial ovarian cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo in an orthotopic mouse model." The protein promotes senescence in the cancer cells, and could be used to drive senescence in cancer cells as part of a therapeutic strategy, the team adds.

And finally in Cancer Research this week, an international team of researchers associates common breast cancer susceptibility loci with triple-negative breast cancer. The team analyzed data from 2,980 Caucasian women with triple-negative breast cancer, as well as from 4,978 healthy controls, and identified six SNPs significantly associated with disease risk. "Together, our results provide convincing evidence of genetic susceptibility for triple-negative breast cancer," the team writes.

The Scan

Push Toward Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports the US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Deer Exposure

About 40 percent of deer in a handful of US states carry antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Millions But Not Enough

NPR reports the US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, but that billions are needed.

PNAS Papers on CRISPR-Edited Cancer Models, Multiple Sclerosis Neuroinflammation, Parasitic Wasps

In PNAS this week: gene-editing approach for developing cancer models, role of extracellular proteins in multiple sclerosis, and more.