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This Week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute: Aug 9, 2012

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In the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week, researchers in the US, Sweden, and Norway report on an association between a patient's risk of developing a glioma and the prediagnostic biomarker of allergy, IgE. The team conducted a nested case-control study using serum samples from 594 individuals diagnosed with glioma, and 1,177 matched controls. They measured respiratory allergen-specific and total IgE levels in the serum, and found that women testing positive for allergen-specific IgE had a decreased risk of glioblastoma compared with women who tested negative. They also found that testing positive for total IgE was associated with decreased risk of glioma for both sexes, compared with testing negative, and that testing positive for both allergen-specific IgE and total IgE was associated with a borderline statistically significantly decreased risk of glioblastoma and glioma, compared with testing negative for both. "An inverse association between IgE levels and risk of glioma was detected; the association was present at least 20 years before tumor diagnosis," the team adds.

Also in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh describe the chemopreventive potential of the natural plant compound phenethyl isothiocyanate against breast cancer cells. The team fed 35 female mouse mammary tumor virus–neu mice a controlled diet and fed 33 female mouse mammary tumor virus–neu mice the same diet supplemented with PEITC. At vivisection, the researchers examined the animals' breast tissue and found that administration of PEITC was associated with 53.13 percent decreased incidence of macroscopic mammary tumors and with a 56.25 percent reduction in microscopic mammary carcinoma lesions. "PEITC-mediated mammary cancer growth inhibition was not because of suppression of human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 expression but was associated with reduced cellular proliferation and neoangiogenesis, increased apoptosis, and altered expression of several proteins, including decreased ATP synthase in the tumor and increased plasma levels of transthyretin," the authors write.

The Scan

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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.