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This Week in NEJM: Oct 13, 2011


In NEJM this week, researchers in Denmark report their findings from a study of the incidence of adenocarcinoma in patients with Barrett's esophagus. The team analyzed data from all Barrett's esophagus patients in Denmark from 1992 to 2009 and found that Barrett's esophagus is indeed a strong risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma. However, the researchers also found that the absolute annual risk of 0.12 percent was much lower than the assumed risk of 0.5 percent, which is the basis for current surveillance guidelines for clinicians. "Data from the current study call into question the rationale for ongoing surveillance in patients who have Barrett's esophagus without dysplasia," the authors write.

Also in NEJM this week, an international team of researchers investigates the effects of adjuvant therapy with zoledronic acid in breast cancer. The team randomly assigned 3,360 patients to receive standard adjuvant therapy either with or without zoledronic acid. After a median follow-up of 59 months, there was no significant difference in disease-free survival between the two groups. The number of deaths in both groups was also similar, the researchers write, resulting overall survival rates of 85.4 percent in the zoledronic acid group and 83.1 percent in the control group. "These findings do not support the routine use of zoledronic acid in the adjuvant management of breast cancer," the authors write.

The Scan

UK Funds to Stay Ahead of Variants

The UK has announced a further £29.3 million to stay on top of SARS-CoV-2 variants, the Guardian reports.

Push for Access

In a letter, researchers in India seek easier access to COVID-19 data, Science reports.

Not as Cold

Late-stage trial results are expected soon for an RNA-based vaccine that could help meet global demand as it does not require very cold storage, the New York Times writes.

Genome Research Papers on Microbes' Effects on Host Transfer RNA, Honeybee Evolution, Single-Cell Histones

In Genome Research this week: influence of microbes on transfer RNA patterns, evolutionary relationships of honeybees, and more.