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Searching for the Origin

An article in the New York Times discusses cancers of unknown primary origins and recently developed genetic tests that may identify where in the body those mystery tumors are coming from -- not knowing the original tissue hampers treatment since many cancer therapies are tailored to combat one sort of cancer. Four genetic tests are trying to help identify the origin of these cancers -- Pathwork Diagnostics' Tissue of Origin test, BioTheranostics' CancerType ID, Agendia's CupPrint, and Rosetta Genomics' MiRview Mets test -- but with mixed results. A recent study showed Agendia's test could accurately classify 83 percent of known samples but only 64 percent of unknown ones. "We try to ask ourselves, 'Is this information going to change the treatment we recommend for the patient?'" MD Anderson's James Abbruzzese says.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.