Other highlights in the October 18 JNCI

Guidelines for Advanced Colorectal Surgery Often Not Followed

The majority of patients with locally advanced colorectal cancer do not receive the extensive surgery to remove the cancer and adjacent tissues, a new study reports. This extensive surgery, called a multivisceral resection, is recommended by the National Cancer Institute and American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons because it reduces local recurrence and improves survival.

Calvin H.L. Law, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., of the University of Toronto, and colleagues identified 8,380 patients 18 years and older who received surgery for nonmetastatic, locally advanced colorectal cancer between 1988 and 2002. They used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry.

They found that only 33.3% of patients were treated with the recommended surgery. Patients given the recommended surgery had increased overall survival, compared to those given less extensive surgery.

Contact: Natalie Chung-Sayers, 416-480-4040, Natalie.Chung-Sayers@sunnybrook.ca


Aspirin Takers with a Genetic Variant May Have Lower Colorectal Adenoma Risk

A genetic variation (G315A) in the ODC gene may change a person's response to aspirin given for colorectal cancer prevention.

Elizabeth Barry, Ph.D., of the Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues assessed the effect of the ODC genotype in 973 patients in the Aspirin/Folate Polyp Prevention Study who were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or aspirin. They were followed for three years to see if they developed colorectal adenomas, a type of polyp. The G315A variation in the ODC gene was not associated with colorectal adenoma incidence overall. However, subjects with at least one variant gene had a lower risk of developing colorectal adenomas if they were taking aspirin while subjects without the gene mutation did not benefit from aspirin treatment.

Contact: Susan Knapp, 603-646-2117, Susan.E.Knapp@Dartmouth.edu


Relaxin Expression by Adenovirus Improves Anticancer Activity

Adenoviruses genetically modified to express a protein called relaxin may inhibit the growth and metastasis of several cancer types in mice.

Chae-Ok Yun, Ph.D., of the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea, and colleagues inserted a gene called relaxin, which is structurally similar to insulin, into adenoviruses and then assessed its expression and action against cancers in mice. They found that adenoviruses expressing relaxin spread to more cancer cells and penetrated deeper into tumors than the unmodified viruses alone. The relaxin adenovirus also inhibited tumor growth and metastasis and helped mice survive longer.

Contact: Chae-Ok Yun, chaeok@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr


Researchers Identify Activation Pathway for Two Proteins Involved in Cancer Cell Death

A new study by Chifumi Kitanaka, M.D., Ph.D., of the Yamaguta University School of Medicine in Japan, and colleagues shows that two molecules called Bax and Bak, which are integral to a type of cell death, depend on oxidative phosphorylation, for their activity. Oxidative phosphorylation is the process by which mitochondria in the cell create useable energy. Tumor cells often produce energy through glycolysis, a type of glucose breakdown, rather than oxidative phosphorylation. Therefore, they can be resistant to programmed cell death under stressful conditions. The authors' findings could have therapeutic implications in that tumor cells might be treated to make them more susceptible to programmed cell death.

Contact: Chifumi Kitanaka, ckitanak@med.id.yamagata-u.ac.jp


Also in the October 18 JNCI:

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Note: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute is published by Oxford University Press and is not affiliated with the National Cancer Institute. Attribution to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is requested in all news coverage. Visit the Journal online at http://jncicancerspectrum.oxfordjournals.org/.


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