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This Week in Clinical Cancer Research: Aug 25, 2011

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In Clinical Cancer Research this week, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, explore the regulatory role of microRNA-203 in the progression and metastasis of prostate cancer. The researchers studied miRNA expression in human prostate cancer cell lines and found that miR-203 expression is "specifically attenuated" in bone metastatic prostate cancer, which suggests that this miRNA has a "fundamental antimetastatic role." When the team reintroduced miR-203 in bone metastatic prostate cancer cell lines, metastasis was suppressed. "Importantly, miR-203 regulates a cohort of pro-metastatic genes including ZEB2, Bmi, survivin, and bone-specific effectors including Runx2, a master regulator of bone metastasis," the team writes. "MiR-203 may be an attractive target for therapeutic intervention in advanced metastatic prostate cancer."

Also in Clinical Cancer Research this week, researchers in Germany report regression of glioma in rat models after intranasal application of parvovirus H-1. Previous studies showed that intracranial or intravenous application of the apathogenic rat parvovirus H-1 leads to regression of advanced symptomatic rat and human gliomas in a rat model, without affecting non-tumor tissues, the authors write. In this study, the team applied H-1PV to cancer-infected rats intranasally and found that a single intranasal application was sufficient to induce efficient regression of rat glioma, leading to prolonged survival. "In view of an ongoing clinical trial on the use of H-1PV for oncolytic virotherapy of glioma, the option of applying the virus intranasally may be a valuable alternative to invasive routes of infection," the authors add.

And finally in Clinical Cancer Research this week, researchers in the US and Japan target the Src kinase in mucinous ovarian cancer and measure the effects on the disease. The team evaluated 1,302 ovarian cancer patients, including 122 with cases of mucinous carcinoma, and tested the biological effects of Src kinase inhibition using a dasatinib-based therapy. Patients with advanced-stage mucinous ovarian cancer had significantly worse survival than those with serous histology, the team writes. In addition, the researchers found that among ovarian cancer cell lines, mucinous ovarian cancer cells showed the highest Src kinase activity. "Targeting Src with dasatinib in vivo showed significant antitumor effects in the [mucinous ovarian cancer] model but not in the serous ovarian carcinoma model," the authors write. "Combination therapy of oxaliplatin with dasatinib further showed significant effects on reducing cell viability, increasing apoptosis, and in vivo antitumor effects in the [mucinous] model."

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.