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A Waste of Time?

Pharmaceutical companies have been spending a lot of money on new cancer treatments, but the results have been less than stellar, says Robert Langreth on Forbes' Treatments blog. Pfizer, for example, has been spending a lot of money to develop a cancer drug that, in testing, helps only five percent of lung cancer patients with a particular tumor mutation. Langreth spoke to cancer geneticist Garth Anderson of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, who has a theory about that: he says targeted cancer treatment can't work because tumors are genomically unstable, producing more mutations than the treatments could possibly target. "They have so much genetic damage that it may be impossible to safely destroy them with drug that hit just one or two bad genes," Langreth says. Anderson adds that it would be better to spend money developing better tumor imaging techniques and less invasive surgical procedures.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.