A collection of recently published news items.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer compared with other fertility treatments, according to a recent study (JAMA 2016;316:300–12). Because IVF procedures temporarily cause changes in hormone levels, it had been thought that IVF might influence breast cancer risk. However, in this study of 25,108 women, there was no significant difference in breast cancer incidence, which was 3% for the IVF group and 2.9% for the non-IVF group after a median follow-up of 21 years.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force announced that it doesn't have enough evidence to recommend visual screening for melanoma in patients with no known special risk factors for the disease (JAMA 2016; 316:429–35).
Asuragen's molecular diagnostic QuantideX qPCR BCR–ABL IS kit received FDA clearance for monitoring response to therapies such as imatinib (Gleevec; Novartis) in the treatment of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The Austin, TX, company said that its product is the first FDA-cleared diagnostic kit for use in CML management.
Gene variants associated with red hair, pale skin, and freckles are linked to a higher number of genetic mutations in skin cancers (Nat Commun 2016 July 12). The burden of mutations associated with these variants is comparable to an extra 21 years of sun exposure in people without the variants. Even a single copy of a red hair–associated MC1R gene variant increases the number of mutations in melanoma.
The NCI launched the Breast Cancer Genetic Study in African-Ancestry Pop-ulations initiative to explore genetic and biological factors that contribute to breast cancer risk among black women.
Researchers reported finding the earliest known case of cancer, an osteosarcoma, in a toe bone of a human ancestor estimated to have lived 1.7 million years ago; the diagnosis was possible thanks to advances in 3-dimensional imaging (S Afr J Sci 2016;112:100–4). The bone was found in a cave in South Africa.
For more news on cancer research, visit Cancer Discovery online at http://cancerdiscovery.aacrjournals.org/content/early/by/section.