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This Week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute: Sep 1, 2011


In the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week, an international team of researchers present a study on the clinical and biological effects of ABCC multidrug transporters in childhood neuroblastoma. The team found that inhibition of the ABCC1 gene statistically significantly inhibited neuroblastoma development in a mouse model. Suppression of ABCC1 in vitro inhibited wound closure and clonogenicity, and suppression of ABCC4 inhibited cell growth. Further analysis of 209 neuroblastoma patient tumors revealed that, in contrast with ABCC1 and ABCC4, low rather than high levels of ABCC3 was associated with reduced event-free survival, the authors write. In addition, over-expression of ABCC3 in vitro inhibited neuroblastoma cell migration and clonogenicity. "ABCC transporters can affect neuroblastoma biology independently of their role in chemotherapeutic drug efflux, enhancing their potential as targets for therapeutic intervention," the team adds.

Also in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week, researchers in the US and Europe explore interactions between genetic variants and breast cancer risk factors. The team prospectively collected DNA samples and questionnaire data from 8,576 breast cancer patients and 11,892 controls. After genotyping 17 germline SNPs, the team performed a likelihood ratio test to assess the interactions between the SNPs and nine established risk factors like age at menopause, family history, and smoking status, and found that there were no statistically significant interactions between the SNPs and the risk factors. "This study does not support the hypothesis that known common breast cancer susceptibility loci strongly modify the associations between established risk factors and breast cancer," the team adds.

And finally in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week, a team of European researchers studies the possible associations between mobile phone use and brain tumors in adolescents and children. The team analyzed data from 352 brain cancer patients and 646 controls, and found that regular cell phone users were not statistically significantly more likely to have been diagnosed with brain tumors than non-users. The team also did not find any increased risk of brain tumors in the areas of the brain receiving the highest amount of exposure to cell phones. "The absence of an exposure–response relationship either in terms of the amount of mobile phone use or by localization of the brain tumor argues against a causal association," the team adds.

The Scan

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

TB Resistance Insights Gleaned From Genome Sequence, Antimicrobial Response Assays

Researchers in PLOS Biology explore M. tuberculosis resistance with a combination of sequencing and assays looking at the minimum inhibitory concentrations of 13 drugs.

Mendelian Disease Genes Prioritized Using Tissue-Specific Expression Clues

Mendelian gene candidates could be flagged for further functional analyses based on tissue-specific transcriptome and proteome profiles, a new Journal of Human Genetics paper says.

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

Mosaicism may affect preimplantation genetic tests for aneuploidy, a single-cell sequencing-based analysis of almost three dozen embryos in PLOS Genetics finds.