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This Week in Lancet Oncology: Mar 31, 2011


Published online in advance in Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in Maryland and Texas present their findings from a study done to determine the proportion of secondary cancers attributable to radiotherapy in adults. Using data from the US Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registries, the researchers analyzed 15 cancer sites that are routinely treated with radiotherapy, and found that out of 647,672 patients who were 5-year survivors and followed up for a mean of 12 years, only 9 percent of them developed a second solid cancer. "A relatively small proportion of second cancers are related to radiotherapy in adults, suggesting that most are due to other factors, such as lifestyle or genetics," the researchers conclude.

Also published online in advance this week, researchers at the Mayo Clinic present their findings from a Phase II study of temsirolimus and rituximab in patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma. Temsirolimus, a mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor with single-agent antitumor activity in patients with mantle cell lymphoma, was administered to patients along with rituximab for four weeks during the first treatment cycle. Rituximab was administered alone for another four weeks. "Responding patients after six cycles could continue treatment for a total of 12 cycles, and were then observed without additional maintenance treatment," the researchers write. "The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with either rituximab-sensitive or rituximab-refractory disease who had at least a partial response." The overall response rate was 59 percent, with 13 of the 71 patients in the study achieving complete responses and 28 achieving partial responses. "mTOR inhibitors in combination with rituximab could have a role in the treatment of patients with relapsed and refractory mantle cell lymphoma," the authors conclude.

Researchers in Australia and New Zealand present data on short-term neoadjuvant androgen deprivation and radiotherapy for locally advanced prostate cancer from the 10-year TROG 96.01 randomized trial. The trial was conducted to assess whether three-month and six-month short-term neoadjuvant androgen deprivation therapy decreases clinical progression and mortality after radiotherapy for locally advanced prostate cancer. More than 800 men were followed for a median of 10.6 years, and the researchers found that three months of neoadjuvant androgen deprivation therapy decreased the cumulative incidence of prostate cancer progression and improved event-free survival compared to radiotherapy alone, the authors write. Six-month long therapy also had the advantage of decreasing distant progression as well as prostate cancer-specific mortality, and all-cause mortality compared with radiotherapy alone, the researchers add. "Six months of neoadjuvant androgen deprivation combined radiotherapy is an effective treatment option for locally advanced prostate cancer, particularly in men without nodal metastases or pre-existing metabolic comorbidities that could be exacerbated by prolonged androgen deprivation," the team concludes.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.