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This Week in Lancet Oncology: Aug 26, 2011


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

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.