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This Week in the Journal of National Cancer Institute


In the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week, researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Meharry Medical College report on lung cancer risk for those who smoke menthol cigarettes. The team conducted a prospective study among 85,806 racially diverse adults between March 2002 and September 2009. Among both blacks and whites, menthol smokers reported smoking fewer cigarettes per day compared to nonmenthol smokers. A lower lung cancer incidence was noted in menthol smokers than in nonmenthol smokers, the authors write. "The findings suggest that menthol cigarettes are no more, and perhaps less, harmful than nonmenthol cigarettes," they add.

Also in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week, researchers in the US and Canada present findings from a study on end-of-life care for lung cancer patients in the US and Ontario. With data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)–Medicare data from the US and data from the Ontario Cancer Registry, the team identified care for non-small-cell lung cancer patients who died of cancer at age 65 or older between 1999 and 2003. It found that rates of chemotherapy use were significantly higher for SEER-Medicare patients than Ontario patients in every month before death. "NSCLC patients in both Ontario and the United States used extensive end-of-life care. Limited availability of hospice care in Ontario and differing attitudes between the United States and Ontario regarding end-of-life care may explain the differences in practice patterns," the authors write.

And finally in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute , researchers in the US, Canada, and Europe report that colorectal cancer patients with deficient DNA mismatch repair systems have reduced rates of tumor recurrence and improved survival rates than patients with a proficient DNA mismatch repair system. About 15 percent of colorectal cancer develops because of a defective function of the repair system, the researchers write. But in a study of more than 2,000 patients, the team found that tumors with a deficient repair system reduced 5-year recurrence rates and was independently associated with delayed time to relapse.

The Scan

Gap in COVAX Doses

BBC News reports that COVAX is experiencing a vaccine shortfall, as the Serum Institute of India has paused exports.

Sanofi, GSK Report Promising Results

The Wall Street Journal reports that the candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline has had encouraging early results.

Influence of Luck

The New York Times examines how the US avoided variant-fueled increases in COVID-19 cases.

PLOS Papers on Retina GWAS, Hantaan Virus, COVID-19 Phenome-Wide Association Study

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of retinal morphology, analysis of hantaan virus found in a mouse, and more.