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This Week in Lancet Oncology: Apr 5, 2012


In Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in the US and Europe report a study on the associations between endometriosis and the risk for certain subtypes of ovarian cancer. The team analyzed data from 13 ovarian cancer case-control studies — a total of 7,911 women with invasive ovarian cancer and 13,226 controls. The researchers found that self-reported endometriosis was associated with a significantly increased risk of clear-cell, low-grade serous, and endometrioid invasive ovarian cancers. They found no association between endometriosis and risk of mucinous or high-grade serous invasive ovarian cancer, however. "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 Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in Australia report a meta-analysis of studies on anal HPV infection in men who have sex with men, and the associated neoplastic lesions. The team analyzed data from 53 studies, and found that "anal HPV and anal cancer precursors were very common" in men who have sex with men. "However," the researchers add, "on the basis of restricted data, rates of progression to cancer seem to be substantially lower than they are for cervical pre-cancerous lesions. Large, good-quality prospective studies are needed to inform the development of anal cancer screening guidelines for MSM."

Finally in Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in Japan report results of a phase III trial on the efficacy of neoadjuvant anastrozole versus tamoxifen in patients receiving goserelin for premenopausal breast cancer. The team recruited premenopausal women with ER-positive, HER2-negative, operable breast cancer, and randomly assigned them to receive either goserelin plus anastrozole and tamoxifen placebo, or goserelin plus tamoxifen and anastrozole placebo, before surgery. They found that more patients in the anastrozole group had a complete or partial response, compared to the tamoxifen group. "Given its favorable risk-benefit profile, the combination of anastrozole plus goserelin could represent an alternative neoadjuvant treatment option for premenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer," the authors conclude.

The Scan

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.