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Study Incorporates Circulating Tumor Fragments Into Rectal Cancer Treatment Response Models

Researchers at Fudan University Shanghai and other centers in China consider prognostic clues provided by circulating cell-free tumor DNA (ctDNA) fragments in individuals with locally advanced rectal cancer, particularly when it comes to determining which patients can safely forego surgery after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. As reported in Clinical Chemistry, the team used cell-free circulating DNA fragment profiles, 5'-end motif profiles, and magnetic resonance imaging tumor regression grade data for 103 locally advanced rectal cancer patients to develop and validate computational models aimed at predicting which patients do or do not show a pathological complete response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy — a treatment response sought for the surgery-free "watch and wait" approach. The authors conclude that their study supports the combination of a 5'-end motif with magnetic resonance imaging tumor regression grade has promising clinical usage for predicting the tumor response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced rectal cancer patients, further noting that their findings need to be validated independently and on a larger scale.

The Scan

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.

Neurological Outcomes Linked to Innate Immune Features After Cardiac Arrest

Researchers reporting in Med dig into immune features found a few hours after cardiac arrest that correspond with neurological outcomes.

Mouse Study Finds Circadian Rhythm-Related Gene Expression Changes Linked to Sleep Apnea

A paper in PLOS Biology reveals tissue-specific circadian rhythm and gene expression patterns in an intermittent hypoxia-based mouse model of obstructive sleep apnea.

Polygenic Risk Score to Predict Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension in Pregnant Women

Researchers in Nature Medicine provide new mechanistic insights into the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, which may help develop therapeutics.