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This Week in JAMA: Mar 16, 2011


Shigeo Masuda from Tochigi Medical University in Japan comments on a recent JAMA paper from Andrew Gentles and his colleagues. Previously, the Gentles team reported that a high expression level of a gene signature from self-renewing leukemic stem cells was associated with an adverse outcome in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Masuda asks whether the Gentles team saw a significant difference in that leukemic stem cell score when the patients were stratified by recurrent somatic mutations and whether "patients with a favorable-risk cytogenetic profile" had higher scores. In their reply, the Gentles team said that there wasn't a significant different in score between stratified patients and that there wasn't not enough data to determine the effect to cytogenetic risk profile on the LSC score.

In JAMA's Archives of Dermatology, doctors from Northwestern University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering say that fluorescence in situ hybridization can help diagnose disseminated Spitz nevi, benign lesions that need to be distinguished from primary spitzoid melanoma and cutaneous melanoma metastases. In their two case studies, the physicians say that FISH "failed to show diagnostic changes of melanoma" and that "that molecular techniques maybe used to help confirm the diagnosis in such novel and challenging cases."

In a commentary in JAMA, David Resnik and Greg Koski call for a national registry of healthy volunteers for phase I clinical trials. Such registries exist in other countries, like France and the UK, and in parts of the US, like southern Florida. Resnik and Koski say a national registry would serve "to protect participants from the risks of overlapping enrollment and to promote data integrity."

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.