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This Week in Lancet Oncology: Aug 26, 2011

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In Lancet Oncology this week, Taiwanese researchers report findings from a population-based study assessing the risk of ovarian cancer for women with pelvic inflammatory disease. The researchers obtained data for 67,936 women with PID and 135,872 controls. Of these, 42 patients with PID later developed ovarian cancer, compared with 48 controls. "The adjusted hazard ratio for ovarian cancer in patients with PID was 1.92 compared with controls, which rose to 2.46 in women who had had at least five episodes of PID," the authors write. "PID might, therefore, be a useful marker for ovarian cancer, and early treatment could help to improve prognosis. Whether pelvic inflammation itself accelerates the growth of ovarian cancers or affects cancer-cell differentiation in ways that adversely alter prognosis needs to be investigated."

Also in Lancet Oncology this week, researchers in Germany report a study on the use of intraoperative MRI guidance in glioma surgery. The team enrolled into the study 58 adults with contrast enhancing gliomas amenable to radiologically complete resection, and randomly assigned them to undergo either intraoperative MRI-guided surgery or conventional microsurgery. More patients, 96 percent, had complete tumor resection in the intraoperative MRI group, than in the conventional surgery group at 68 percent, the authors found, and no patients for whom intraoperative MRI was used had any neurological deterioration after resection of their tumors. "Our study provides evidence for the use of intraoperative MRI guidance in glioma surgery," the team says. "Such imaging helps surgeons provide the optimum extent of resection."

And finally in Lancet Oncology this week, Canadian researchers analyze the impact of olaparib in patients with recurrent high-grade serous poorly differentiated ovarian carcinoma, or triple-negative breast cancer. The team treated 90 patients — 64 with ovarian cancer and 26 with breast cancer — with olaparib, a PARP inhibitor. In the ovarian cancer cohort, the team saw confirmed objective responses in seven of 17 women with BRCA mutations, and 11 of 46 women with no such mutations. No confirmed objective responses were reported in the breast cancer cohort. "Our study suggests that olaparib is a promising treatment for women with ovarian cancer and further assessment of the drug in clinical trials is needed," the authors add.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.