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This Week in Cancer Research: Nov 4, 2011

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The University of Pennsylvania's Lin Zhang and colleagues report in the online advance section of Cancer Research their new genetic screening approach to detect oncomirs. They used their combined array-based comparative genomic hybridization and functional library screening method to find mir-30d, which they say "regulates tumor cell proliferation, apoptosis, senescence, and migration."

And in the current issue, researchers led by Vanderbilt University's Carlos Arteaga performed a kinome-wide siRNA screen of ER+ breast cancer cells that are resistant to long-term estrogen deprivation to try to identify kinases those cells need to grow. From this, they found that the insulin receptor InsR is needed for growth, and that InsR and/or insulin-like growth factor-I receptor inhibition prevented growth. "We conclude that therapeutic targeting of both InsR and IGF-IR should be more effective than targeting IGF-IR alone in abrogating resistance to endocrine therapy in breast cancer," the authors write.

Finally in Cancer Research, Johns Hopkins researchers report that the oral antifungal drug itraconazole prevents angiogenesis and tumor growth in non-small cell lung cancer. "These data suggest that itraconazole has potent and selective inhibitory activity against multiple key aspects of tumor-associated angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo, and strongly support clinical translation of its use," the researchers say. They add that they have begun a randomized phase II study to compare standard therapy to standard therapy plus itraconazole in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

The Scan

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.

Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers at PLOS Biology have examined the coevolution of endogenous parvoviral elements and animal genomes to gain insight into using the viruses as gene therapy vectors.

Saliva Testing Can Reveal Mosaic CNVs Important in Intellectual Disability

An Australian team has compared the yield of chromosomal microarray testing of both blood and saliva samples for syndromic intellectual disability in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.