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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

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.

Study Reviews Family, Provider Responses to Rapid Whole-Genome Sequencing Follow-up

Investigators identified in the European Journal of Human Genetics variable follow-up practices after rapid whole-genome sequencing.

BMI-Related Variants Show Age-Related Stability in UK Biobank Participants

Researchers followed body mass index variant stability with genomic structural equation modeling and genome-wide association studies of 40- to 72-year olds in PLOS Genetics.

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.