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This Week in Clinical Cancer Research: Jul 8, 2011

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Researchers led by Osaka University's Masaki Mori looked into whether miR-146a, a microRNA suspected to be a tumor suppressor in pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers, also has a role in gastric cancer. The researchers used qPCR to determine the levels of miR-146a present in 90 gastric cancer samples and whether those levels were associated with pathology or prognosis. Additionally, the researchers examined how miR-146a regulates EGFR and IRAK. As they report in Clinical Cancer Research, the researchers found that miR-146a levels in gastric cancer samples were lower than those from noncancerous tissue. "MiR-146a contains an SNP, which is associated with mature miR-146a expression. MiR-146a targeting of EGFR and IRAK1 is an independent prognostic factor in gastric cancer cases," the authors conclude.

A team of Johns Hopkins researchers reports that it identified a candidate oncogene for salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma. Using an integrated, genome-wide screen, the team searched for oncogenes controlled by promoter methylation and, after validation, found eight genes that showed hypomethylation. Of those, aquaporin 1, or AQP1, showed the most significant hypomethylation, and the researchers say it promoted cell proliferation and colony formation in a salivary gland cancer cell line.

Also in Clinical Cancer Research, researchers from the German Glioma Network studied whether TP53 mutation, 1p/19q codeletions, O6-methylguanylmethyltransferase promoter methylation, or isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 mutation predict disease progression or response to treatment. The researchers followed two cohorts of patients, one group with gliomas that did not receive radiotherapy or chemotherapy after surgery and another group that received radiotherapy or chemotherapy at diagnosis. The researchers found that none of markers could predict progression-free survival after surgery alone, though isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 mutation status was a prognostic marker for overall survival in both groups.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.