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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

Science Confidence Boost

The New York Times reports that a new poll finds trust in science and scientists has increased with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Appeal and Funds

Some grant applications denied funding due to an Australian Research Council rule change have now been funded following an appeal, the Guardian reports.

Surveillance for Variants

Vox writes that the detection of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant highlights the need for improved viral genomic surveillance.

Nature Papers Examine Taxonomic Gaps in Plant Sequencing, SARS-CoV-2-Human Interactome

In Nature this week: plant genome sequencing dominated by affluent countries, and more.