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Metastatic Prostate Cancer Clues Found with Liquid Biopsy Approach

For a paper in Clinical Chemistry, a team from Denmark, Sweden, and Belgium describe survival insights that can be gained through low-coverage sequencing of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in individuals with metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The investigators used their low-pass whole-genome sequencing (LPWGS) approach to assess cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in 200 blood samples from 143 mCRPC patients receiving first-line treatment with androgen signaling inhibitors. There, they found that higher pre-treatment ctDNA levels were linked to more limited prostate specific antigen marker responses to treatment and shorter progression-free and overall survival. Similarly, the authors note that elevated levels of copy number alterations found in baseline ctDNA tended to correspond to poor outcomes, with copy number alterations typically increasing during disease progression. Together, they say, the findings suggest that "LPWGS of plasma cfDNA holds clinical potential for outcome prognostication in mCRPC patients through estimation of ctDNA [percentage] and tumor [copy number alteration] patterns," the authors report, adding that "our findings are consistent with previous tissue-based reports showing that a high [copy number alteration] burden in prostate tumor tissue is associated with significantly shorter biochemical recurrence-free and cancer-specific survival in localized and metastatic [prostate cancer], respectively."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.