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This Week in Lancet Oncology: Jun 24, 2011

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In Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in Italy present findings on a study of the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer staging, a proposed means of assessing prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, to determine five-year survival benefit from liver transplant. The researchers calculated survival benefit in a cohort of 1,328 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma judged as potentially eligible for liver transplants, using both Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer staging and other analyses, and found that "liver transplantation could result in survival benefit for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and advanced liver cirrhosis (BCLC stage D) and in those with intermediate tumors (BCLC stages B-C), regardless of the nodule number."

Also in Lancet Oncology this week, US researchers present findings from a study on the cervical cancer risk of women undergoing concurrent testing for human papillomavirus and cervical cytology. The team assessed the five-year cumulative incidences of cervical cancer or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 for 331,818 women. In 315,061 women found to be cancer- and CIN3-negative by HPV testing, the five-year cumulative incidence of cervical cancer was 3.8 per 100,000 women per year, and half the cancer risk of the 319,177 women who were found cancer- and CIN3-negative by Pap smear alone. "For women aged 30 years and older in routine clinical practice who are negative by co-testing (both HPV and cytology), three-year screening intervals were safe because a single negative test for HPV was sufficient to reassure against cervical cancer over five years," the authors write. "Incorporating HPV testing with cytology also resulted in earlier identification of women at high risk of cervical cancer, especially adenocarcinoma. Testing for HPV without adjunctive cytology might be sufficiently sensitive for primary screening for cervical cancer."

And finally in Lancet Oncology this week, Australian researchers present a meta-analysis of studies on the survival rate of patients with resectable esophageal carcinoma after neoadjuvant chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy. The team included 24 total studies, 12 of which were randomized comparisons of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy versus surgery alone, nine of which were randomized comparisons of neoadjuvant chemotherapy versus surgery, and two of which compared neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The meta-analysis provided strong evidence that patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy or chemotherapy had a survival benefit over patients undergoing surgery alone. "A clear advantage of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy over neoadjuvant chemotherapy has not been established," the authors write. "These results should help inform decisions about patient management and design of future trials."

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.