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This Week in Clinical Cancer Research: Jul 5, 2012

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In a paper published online in advance in Clinical Cancer Research, an international team led by investigators at VU University Medical Center in The Netherlands presents a meta-analysis of mouse and human medulloblastoma gene expression data. The researchers show that expression of the RAS-GTPase-activating protein family member DAB2IP is repressed in medulloblastoma by EZH2-induced trimethylation. They also say that "DAB2IP may represent a molecular marker to distinguish patients with medulloblastoma at high risk from those with a longer survival prognosis."

Elsewhere in the journal, researchers in Japan show that the amount of Epstein-Barr virus DNA detected in whole blood samples from patients with extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type, is "useful for predicting tumor response, toxicity, and prognosis after SMILE [steroid, methotrexate, ifosfamide, L-asparaginase, and etoposide] chemotherapy."

Finally, writing in Clinical Cancer Research, scientists from the New York University School of Medicine show that topical imiquimod is a well-tolerated and beneficial treatment modality for breast cancer metastatic to skin/chest wall, and that the drug "can promote a pro-immunogenic tumor microenvironment in breast cancer." The NYU team adds that preclinical data is has generated suggests superior results might be achieved with a combination of imiquimod and ionizing radiation. "We are currently testing in patients whether the combination can further improve anti-tumor immune and clinical responses," the researchers add.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.