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This Week in the Medical Journals: Aug 10, 2012


In Lancet Oncology this week, an international team of researchers reports the results of a population-based study on the conditional survival of metastatic renal-cell carcinoma patients treated with VEGF-targeted therapy. The team analyzed data from 1,673 patients with metastatic renal-cell carcinoma treated with a first-line VEGF-targeted therapy, and found that there was an increase in the two-year conditional survival probability, from 44 percent at 0 months to 51 percent at 18 months of treatment. "Conditional survival is a clinically useful prediction measure that adjusts prognosis of patients with metastatic renal-cell carcinoma on the basis of survival since treatment initiation or therapy duration," the team says. "Conditional survival might be especially relevant to adjust prognosis for poor-risk patients."

In NEJM this week, a team of European researchers report on treatment options for older patients with mantle-cell lymphoma. The team randomly assigned 560 mantle-cell lymphoma patients aged 60 or older to receive either six cycles of the R-FC combination therapy — rituximab, fludarabine, and cyclophosphamide — every 28 days or eight cycles of R-CHOP — rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone — every 21 days. They found that complete remission rates were similar between the two treatment regimens, but that progressive disease was more frequent with R-FC. "Overall survival was significantly shorter with R-FC than with R-CHOP, and more patients in the R-FC group died during the first remission," the authors write. "R-CHOP induction followed by maintenance therapy with rituximab is effective for older patients with mantle-cell lymphoma."

The Scan

Genetic Testing Approach Explores Origins of Blastocyst Aneuploidy

Investigators in AJHG distinguish between aneuploidy events related to meiotic missegregation in haploid cells and those involving post-zygotic mitotic errors and mosaicism.

Study Looks at Parent Uncertainties After Children's Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Diagnoses

A qualitative study in EJHG looks at personal, practical, scientific, and existential uncertainties in parents as their children go through SCID diagnoses, treatment, and post-treatment stages.

Antimicrobial Resistance Study Highlights Key Protein Domains

By screening diverse versions of an outer membrane porin protein in Vibrio cholerae, researchers in PLOS Genetics flagged protein domain regions influencing antimicrobial resistance.

Latent HIV Found in White Blood Cells of Individuals on Long-Term Treatments

Researchers in Nature Microbiology find HIV genetic material in monocyte white blood cells and in macrophages that differentiated from them in individuals on HIV-suppressive treatment.