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This Week in Clinical Cancer Research: Jun 7, 2012

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In Clinical Cancer Research this week, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham report that MARCKS regulates the growth and radiation sensitivity of glioma, and could serve as a novel prognostic factor of the disease. The team analyzed MARCKS levels in five glioblastoma cell lines and eight patient-derived xenografts, and found that the gene's expression was inversely correlated with glioblastoma proliferation and intracranial xenograft growth rates. "Genetic silencing of MARCKS promoted GBM proliferation and radiation resistance, whereas MARCKS overexpression greatly reduced GBM growth potential and induced senescence," the team writes. "We found MARCKS gene expression to be directly correlated with survival in both the REMBRANDT and TCGA databases."

Also in Clinical Cancer Research this week, researchers in Japan report their microarray analysis of colorectal cancer stromal tissue. The team collected RNA from epithelium or stroma from 13 colorectal cancer samples and four normal tissue samples and, using miRNA and gene expression microarrays, found oncogenic miRNAs were upregulated in cancer stromal tissues. "Gene expression profiles from cDNA microarray analyses of the same stromal tissue samples revealed that putative targets of these miRNA clusters, predicted by Target Scan, such as TGFBR2, SMAD2, and BMP family genes, were significantly downregulated in cancer stromal tissue," the authors write.

Finally in Clinical Cancer Research this week, a team of US researchers reports that variants in SSBPE are associated with survival in glioblastoma patients. Using SNP data from 315 glioma patients, the team identified a variant in SSBP2 associated with overall survival. "Using genotype imputation, the SSBP2 SNP rs17296479 had the strongest statistically significant genome-wide association with poorer overall patient survival," the authors write.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.