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This Week in Lancet Oncology: Nov 16, 2011


In a Lancet Oncology online advance publication this week, an international team of researchers reports data from a study of EGFR expression as a predictor of survival in non-small-cell lung cancer patients treated with first-line chemotherapy plus cetuximab. In analyzing EGFR expression data from 1,121 non-small-cell lung cancer patients, the researchers found that patients with high EGFR expression had longer overall survival when treated with chemotherapy plus cetuximab compared with chemotherapy alone. However, there was no corresponding survival benefit for patients with low EGFR expression. "High EGFR expression is a tumor biomarker that can predict survival benefit from the addition of cetuximab to first-line chemotherapy in patients with advanced NSCLC," the authors write. "Assessment of EGFR expression could offer a personalized treatment approach in this setting."

Also published online in advance in Lancet Oncology this week, a team of European researchers assesses the efficacy of fludarabine plus alemtuzumab versus fludarabine alone in patients with previously treated chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The researchers randomly assigned 335 patients to receive either fludarabine plus alemtuzumab or fludarabine alone, and found that the combination therapy resulted in better progression-free survival than the monotherapy. "The combination of fludarabine and alemtuzumab is another treatment option for patients with previously treated CLL," the authors write.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.