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This Week in Lancet Oncology : May 18, 2011

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In Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in France present results from a Phase II trial of an attenuated immunochemotherapy treatment for patients older than 80 with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The researchers aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of a decreased dose of CHOP chemotherapy, a combination of doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone, with a conventional dose of rituximab. After 20 months of follow-up, the median overall survival was 29 months, and two-year overall survival was 59 percent. "R-miniCHOP offers a good compromise between efficacy and safety in patients aged over 80 years old. R-miniCHOP should be considered as the new standard treatment in this subgroup of patients," the authors write.

Also in Lancet Oncology this week, researchers at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine present a comprehensive research synopsis and meta-analysis of genetic variants associated with breast cancer risk. More than 1,000 studies have been published in the last 20 years on associations between variants in candidate genes and breast cancer risk, the authors write. Doing a systematic literature search for such studies, and then a meta-analysis of the results, the researchers say they found that 51 variants in 40 genes showed "significant associations with breast cancer risk." Cumulative epidemiological evidence of association was strong for 10 of the variants, moderate for four variants, and weak for 37 variants. Further evaluation is needed, the team adds.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.