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This Week in Lancet Oncology: Apr 25, 2012

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In Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in China report on the efficacy of gefitinib as a maintenance therapy for patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. The team randomly assigned 296 patients to receive either gefitinib or placebo, and found that progression-free survival was significantly longer with gefitinib. "Maintenance treatment with gefitinib significantly prolonged progression-free survival compared with placebo in patients from east Asia with advanced NSCLC who achieved disease control after first-line chemotherapy," the team writes. "Clinicians should consider these data when making decisions about maintenance treatment in such patients."

Also in Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in the UK report the results of a study of focal therapy for the treatment of localized unifocal and multifocal prostate cancer. The team recruited 42 men with low-risk to high-risk localized prostate cancer and treated them with focal therapy using high-intensity focused ultrasound. After treatment, only one man was admitted to the hospital for acute urinary retention, and nine men had self-resolving, mild to moderate, intermittent dysuria, the team says. Further, median overall International Index of Erectile Function-15 scores were similar at baseline and 12 months after treatments, as were the median scores for intercourse satisfaction, sexual desire, and overall satisfaction. "Focal therapy of individual prostate cancer lesions, whether multifocal or unifocal, leads to a low rate of genitourinary side-effects and an encouraging rate of early absence of clinically significant prostate cancer," the authors write.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.