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This Week in JAMA: Aug 17, 2011

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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

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.

Study Points to Synonymous Mutation Effects on E. Coli Enzyme Activity

Researchers in Nature Chemistry saw signs of enzyme activity shifts in the presence of synonymous mutations in a multiscale modeling analysis of three Escherichia coli genes.

Team Outlines Paternal Sample-Free Single-Gene Approach for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening

With data for nearly 9,200 pregnant individuals, researchers in Genetics in Medicine demonstrate the feasibility of their carrier screening and reflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal screening approach.

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.