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This Week in JAMA: Oct 26, 2011

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In JAMA this week, researchers from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial Project present a study on chest radiograph screening for lung cancer and the effect of screening on disease-related mortality. The team split 154,901 participants into two groups, one of which received annual screenings and the other of which received usual care. They found that after 13 years of follow up, cumulative lung cancer incidence rates were 20.1 per 10,000 person-years in the intervention group and 19.2 per 10,000 person-years in the usual-care group. "Annual screening with chest radiograph did not reduce lung cancer mortality compared with usual care," the authors write.

Also in JAMA this week, researchers in the Netherlands write that screening for lung cancer could also help to catch early cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Within an ongoing lung cancer screening trial, the team obtained prebronchodilator pulmonary function testing and expiratory CT data from 1,140 male patients. About 38 percent of these participants were found to have COPD according to the lung function testing, the team says. "Among men who are current and former heavy smokers, low-dose inspiratory and expiratory CT scans obtained for lung cancer screening can identify participants with COPD, with a sensitivity of 63 percent and a specificity of 88 percent," the researchers add.

The Scan

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.

Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers at PLOS Biology have examined the coevolution of endogenous parvoviral elements and animal genomes to gain insight into using the viruses as gene therapy vectors.

Saliva Testing Can Reveal Mosaic CNVs Important in Intellectual Disability

An Australian team has compared the yield of chromosomal microarray testing of both blood and saliva samples for syndromic intellectual disability in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.