Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute: Mar 29, 2012


In the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week, a team of US researchers studies the effect of body mass index on the risk of lung cancer for never, current, and former smokers. The team prospectively examined the association between BMI and lung cancer risk in 448,732 men and women, and found that BMI was inversely associated with lung cancer incidence among both men and women. "The inverse association was restricted to current and former smokers and was stronger after adjustment for smoking," the authors write. "Among smokers, the inverse association persisted even after finely stratifying on smoking status, time since quitting smoking, and number of cigarettes smoked per day."

Also in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week, researchers from the US and UK examine methylation in the human papillomavirus type 16 genome. The team analyzed DNA from cervical cells collected from a large cohort of Costa Rican women who underwent multiple screenings for cervical cancer and were diagnosed with either cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 or persistent HPV16 infection. "Increased methylation in diagnostic [versus] control specimens at nine CpG sites, three in each L1, L2, and E2/E4 genomic regions, was associated with an increased risk of CIN3 and persistence," the team found. "High methylation at three of these CpG sites was associated with a much higher risk when combined compared with low methylation at these sites."

Finally in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week, researchers in Germany examine the potential therapeutic effect of anti-epithelial cell adhesion molecule antibodies in pancreatic cancer. EpCAM is over-expressed in many cancers, the researchers write. For this study, they linked the anti-DNA transcription toxin α-amanitin to an anti-EpCAM monoclonal antibody, and tested it on human pancreatic, colorectal, breast, and bile duct cancer cell lines in vitro, and in immunocompromised pancreatic cancer-bearing mice in vivo. They found that the molecule reduced cell proliferation in all of the cell lines, and inhibited tumor growth in the mice. Higher doses also caused tumor regression in the animals. "This preclinical study suggests that anti-EpCAM antibody conjugates with α-amanitin have the potential to be highly effective therapeutic agents for pancreatic carcinomas and various EpCAM-expressing malignancies," the team adds.

The Scan

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.

Study Highlights Pitfall of Large Gene Panels in Clinical Genomic Analysis

An analysis in Genetics in Medicine finds that as gene panels get larger, there is an increased chance of uncovering benign candidate variants.

Single-Cell Atlas of Drosophila Embryogenesis

A new paper in Science presents a single-cell atlas of fruit fly embryonic development over time.

Phage Cocktail Holds Promise for IBD

Researchers uncovered a combination phage therapy that targets Klebsiella pneumonia strains among individuals experiencing inflammatory bowel disease flare ups, as they report in Cell.