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This Week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute: Nov 23, 2011

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In the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week, researchers in China and the US report on the role of the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor in inflammation-induced metastasis of human liver cancer. The team analyzed data from 254 human hepatocellular carcinoma tissue samples to clarify the association between pIgR expression and early recurrence. They found that high expression of pIgR was statistically significantly associated with early recurrence in early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma and in hepatitis B surface antigen-positive hepatocellular carcinoma patients. "Mice injected with pIgR-overexpressing cells had a statistically significantly higher number of lung metastases compared with respective control cells," the authors write. "Our results identify pIgR as a potential link between hepatitis B virus-derived hepatitis and HCC metastasis and provide evidence in support of pIgR as a prognostic biomarker for HCC and a potential therapeutic target."

Also in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this week, researchers in France elucidate the role of the non-coding RNA ANRIL in the genesis of plexiform neurofibromas in patients with type 1 neurofibromatosis, a tumor predisposition syndrome. The team analyzed tissue from 22 plexiform neurofibromas obtained from 18 NF1 families, and found that deletions in 9p21.3, including the CDKN2A/B-ANRIL locus, were the only recurrent somatic alterations. "Single-nucleotide polymorphism rs2151280 (located in ANRIL) was statistically significantly associated with the number of PNFs in NF1 patients," the authors write. "In addition, allele T of rs2151280 was statistically significantly associated with reduced ANRIL transcript levels, suggesting that modulation of ANRIL expression mediates PNF susceptibility."

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.