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This Week in Lancet Oncology: Feb 29, 2012


In Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in Belgium and the Netherlands examine the long-term cognitive and cardiac consequences of prenatal exposure to chemotherapy, in children 18 months and older. The team assessed 70 children whose mothers underwent chemotherapy while pregnant, and found that although neurocognitive outcomes were within normal parameters, cognitive development scores were lower for the children born preterm compared to children born full term. However, the researchers add, "Our measurements of the children's behavior, general health, hearing, and growth corresponded with those of the general population. Cardiac dimensions and functions were within normal ranges."

Also in Lancet Oncology this week, an international team of researchers report on the risk of recurrence for gastrointestinal stromal tumors after surgery. In reviewing the available literature, the team found that the estimated 15-year recurrence-free survival after surgery was 59.9 percent, and that few recurrences occurred after the first 10 years post-surgery. "Large tumor size, high mitosis count, non-gastric location, presence of rupture, and male sex were independent adverse prognostic factors," the authors write.

And finally in Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in Canada report on the assessment of symptomatic women for the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer. The team enrolled 1,455 women aged 55 and older who had symptoms of ovarian cancer, and offered them diagnostic CA-125 testing and transvaginal ultrasonography. Among these women, the researchers detected 22 gynecological cancers, including 11 invasive ovarian cancers. "The proportion of [high-grade serous cancer] that originated outside the ovaries in this study suggests that early diagnosis programmes should aim to identify low-volume disease rather than early-stage disease, and that diagnostic approaches should be modified accordingly," the team writes. "Although testing symptomatic women may result in earlier diagnosis of invasive ovarian cancer, large-scale implementation of this approach is premature."

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.