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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

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.

Prion Pause to Investigate

Science reports that a moratorium on prion research has been imposed at French public research institutions.

Genome Research Papers on Gut Microbe Antibiotic Response, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Clues to Metabolism, More

In Genome Research this week: gut microbial response to antibiotic treatment, approach to gauge metabolic features from single-cell RNA sequencing, and more.