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This Week in the Lancet Oncology

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In the Lancet Oncology this week, an international team of researchers reports a study on the associations between endometriosis and the risk of histological subtypes of ovarian cancer. The team studied data from 13 ovarian cancer case-control studies, a total of 13,226 controls and 7,911 women with invasive ovarian cancer. They found that self-reported endometriosis was associated with a significantly higher risk of clear-cell, low-grade serous, and endometrioid invasive ovarian cancers, but noted no association between endometriosis and risk of mucinous or high-grade serous ovarian cancer, or borderline tumors. "Clinicians should be aware of the increased risk of specific subtypes of ovarian cancer in women with endometriosis," the authors write. "Future efforts should focus on understanding the mechanisms that might lead to malignant transformation of endometriosis so as to help identify subsets of women at increased risk of ovarian cancer."

Also in the Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in Germany and Switzerland report the results of a phase III study of lapatinib versus trastuzumab in combination with neoadjuvant anthracycline-taxane-based chemotherapy for patients with untreated HER2-positive operable or locally advanced breast cancer. The team randomly assigned 620 patients to receive either chemotherapy and trastuzumab or chemotherapy and lapatinib. About 30 percent of the patients in the trastuzumab group and 22.7 percent of the patients in the lapatinib group had a pathological complete response, the researchers found. "This direct comparison of trastuzumab and lapatinib showed that pathological complete response rate with chemotherapy and lapatinib was significantly lower than that with chemotherapy and trastuzumab," they write. "Unless long-term outcome data show different results, lapatinib should not be used outside of clinical trials as single anti-HER2-treatment in combination with neoadjuvant chemotherapy."

And finally in the Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in the US, Canada, and Hong Kong report on their phase II trial of bevacizumab plus standard chemoradiation for the treatment of locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The team treated 46 patients with bevacizumab and cisplatin plus intensity-modulated radiation therapy. With a median follow-up of two and a half years, the researchers found that the estimated two-year locoregional progression-free interval was 83.7 percent, the two-year distant metastasis-free interval was 90.8 percent, the two-year progression-free survival was 74.7 percent, and the two-year overall survival was 90.9 percent. "The addition of bevacizumab to standard chemoradiation treatment for patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma is feasible, and might delay the progression of subclinical distant disease," they write.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.