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This Week in JAMA: Aug 17, 2011


In this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, University of Michigan researchers report on the use of radioactive iodine to treat thyroid cancer. There is debate, the researchers note, about using radioactive iodine after surgery for thyroid cancers and they looked to see how 189,219 patients were treated for thyroid cancer at 981 hospitals between 1990 and 2008. "There was an increase in radioactive iodine use across all tumor sizes," the authors write, adding that "there was wide between-hospital variation in radioactive iodine use, and much of the variance was attributable to unexplained hospital characteristics."

National Cancer Institute researchers led by Christian Abnet report on the association between cigarette smoking and bladder cancer in JAMA this week. From looking at data from nearly 290,000 men and 190,000 women who were part of the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study cohort, the researchers conclude that smoking is "strong associated" with risk of bladder cancer for both men and women — they report a population attributable risk of 50 percent. "These results support the hypothesis that the risk of bladder cancer associated with cigarette smoking has increased with time in the United States, perhaps a reflection of changing cigarette composition," the researchers say.

The Scan

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.