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This Week in Lancet Oncology: Mar 21, 2012

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In Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in the UK report results of a study of the effects of aspirin use on long-term cancer incidence and metastasis. The team conducted a meta-analysis of studies published between 1950 and 2011 that reported associations between aspirin use and cancer risk, and found that "regular use of aspirin was associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer." They also found similar reduction in the risk of esophageal, gastric, biliary, and breast cancer. "Observational studies show that regular use of aspirin reduces the long-term risk of several cancers and the risk of distant metastasis," the team concludes. "Results of methodologically rigorous studies are consistent with those obtained from randomized controlled trials, but sensitivity is particularly dependent on appropriately detailed recording and analysis of aspirin use."

Cancer Minute has more on this study, and two similar studies in The Lancet, here.

Also in Lancet Oncology, a team of European researchers report on the difference between breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy for patients with state I or II breast cancer. The team enrolled patients in the trial between 1980 and 1986 — they randomly assigned 448 patients to receive either breast-conserving therapy or modified radical mastectomy. After a median follow-up of 22.1 years, the team reports that 42 percent of the patients in the mastectomy group had distant metastases, compared to 46 percent in the conservation group. "No significant difference was observed between BCT and MRM for time to distant metastases or for time to death," the authors write. "BCT, including radiotherapy, offered as standard care to patients with early breast cancer seems to be justified, since long-term follow-up in this trial showed similar survival to that after mastectomy."

Finally, in Lancet Oncology, researchers in France evaluate neoadjuvant bevacizumab, trastuzumab, and chemotherapy as therapy for patients with primary inflammatory HER2-positive breast cancer. The team treated 52 women with histologically confirmed HER2-positive non-metastatic inflammatory breast cancer with fluorouracil, epirubicin, cyclophosphamide, and bevacizumab, and then a cycle of docetaxel, bevacizumab, and trastuzumab. After surgery, the women received adjuvant radiotherapy, trastuzumab, and bevacizumab. "After neoadjuvant therapy, 33 of 52 patients had a pathological complete response," the authors write. "Neoadjuvant treatment with bevacizumab, trastuzumab, and chemotherapy was efficacious and well tolerated in patients with previously untreated primary inflammatory breast cancer. Further confirmation of use of bevacizumab in inflammatory breast cancer is needed."

The Scan

Tennessee's COVID-19 Sequencing

The Tennessean reports that a state lab there can now run its own genome sequencing analyses of SARS-CoV-2 samples.

Sanction Violation Charges

A former professor has been charged with exporting genetic sequencing equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions, the Miami Herald reports.

Prenetics to Go Public Through SPAC

Prenetics, a Hong Kong-based genomic and diagnostic company, is going public through a SPAC merger, according to 360Dx.

Nature Papers Examine Genomes of Centenarians, Transcription-Coupled DNA Repair

In Nature this week: analysis of centenarian genomes uncovers longevity-linked variants, and more.