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November 2012 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Monday, December 3, 2012 (Last Updated: 12/04/2012)

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for November 2012. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Cabozantinib Active in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The orally bioavailable tyrosine kinase inhibitor cabozantinib (XL184) has clinical activity in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), according to a study published online Nov. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Cometriq Approved for Medullary Thyroid Cancer

FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Cometriq (cabozantinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat metastatic medullary thyroid cancer, the agency said Thursday.

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Lower Breast Cancer Risk for Women With BRCA Ovarian CA

FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In women with BRCA1/2-associated ovarian cancer (BRCA-OC), the risk of metachronous breast cancer is lower than for unaffected BRCA carriers, according to research published online Nov. 16 in Cancer.

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Carcinogenic Flame Retardant Commonly Used in Couches

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of residential couches contain chemical flame retardants, some of which are suspected carcinogens, according to a study published online Nov. 28 in Environmental Science & Technology.

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Wait Time to Breast Cancer Surgery Up in Medicare Patients

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The delay between first physician visit and breast cancer surgery increased from 1992 to 2005 for Medicare patients, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Analysis Seeks True Magnitude of Cryptorchidism Malignancy Risk

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For boys with isolated cryptorchidism, there is an almost three-fold increased relative risk of testicular malignancy, according to a meta-analysis published online Nov. 28 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Aspirin Use Cuts Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For men and women aged 50 to 71, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), particularly aspirin, is associated with a reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and death due to chronic liver disease (CLD), according to a study published online Nov. 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Removal of Consultation Fees Increased Spending on Doc Visits

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The 2010 Medicare elimination of consultation payments (mainly billed by specialists) led to a net increase in spending on physician office visits, according to a study published online Nov. 26 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Cigarette Tax Would Cost Federal Government in Long Term

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A theoretical additional federal excise tax on cigarettes would lead to greater federal outlays over time because of the population's increased longevity, according to a perspective piece published in the Nov. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Political Leaders Face Voter Opposition to Medicare Cuts

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of those who voted for President Obama in the 2012 election favor implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while those who voted for Republican officeholders are likely to oppose parts or all of the implementation of the ACA; both sides oppose cuts to Medicare as a means to balance the budget, according to an analysis of newly released polls published as a Special Report online Nov. 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Judge Orders Tobacco Companies to Admit Deception

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A Federal judge has ordered that big tobacco companies in the United States must publish corrective statements about their products and the adverse health effects related to use of their products.

State of Tobacco Control

Parenteral Hydration No Benefit for Cancer Care in Hospices

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced cancer in hospices, providing parenteral saline (1 liter per day) does not improve symptoms associated with dehydration, quality of life, or overall survival compared with placebo, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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State Cost of Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansion Modest

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) Medicaid expansion will likely result in modest state costs by 2022, but will gain health care coverage for more than 20 million uninsured Americans, according to report published by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Warfarin D/C Within 180 Days Post-Surgery May Up Mortality

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who undergo bioprosthetic aortic valve replacement surgery and discontinue anticoagulant treatment within six months have a greater risk of cardiovascular death, according to a study published in the Nov. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Doc Earnings Growth Lags Behind Other Health Professionals

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with other health professionals, in the last 15 years there has been considerably less growth in the earnings of physicians in the United States, according to a research letter published in the Nov. 28 issue the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Primary Care Doctors Gaining Ground on Health IT

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- While primary care physicians in the United States and other countries are gaining ground on health information technology use, there continues to be access-to-care barriers and breakdowns in coordination issues with other health care professionals, according to a Commonwealth Fund report published online Nov. 15 in Health Affairs.

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Growing Number of Drugs Possibly Inhibited by Grapefruit

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- There are increasing numbers of newly marketed drugs that have the potential to interact with grapefruit, all of which are metabolized by the cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme (CYP3A4), according to a review published online Nov. 26 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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MiRNA Expression Reprograms Fibroblasts in Ovarian Cancer

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Fibroblasts present in the stroma of ovarian cancer cells can be programmed to become cancer-associated fibroblasts by changing the expression pattern of three microRNAs (miRNAs), according to a study published online Nov. 21 in Cancer Discovery.

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Regorafenib Efficacious in GI Malignant Disease

FRIDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with metastatic colorectal cancer or gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) who have progressed in spite of treatment, the multikinase inhibitor regorafenib may improve survival, according to the results of two phase 3 studies published online Nov. 22 in The Lancet.

Abstract - Grothey
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Abstract - Demetri
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Overdiagnosis Estimated in 31 Percent of Breast Cancer Cases

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of overdiagnosis may be larger than previously recognized for screening mammography, according to research published in the Nov. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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CDC: Designated Airport Smoking Areas Pose Risk to All

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Airports with designated indoor smoking areas pose the risk of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure for workers and travelers, according to research published in the Nov. 20 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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Obama Administration Moving Forward With Health Care Law

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Three rules have been proposed by the Obama administration to further facilitate implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to a Nov. 20 press release from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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Uninsured With Brain Tumors Have Higher Post-Op Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Uninsured patients undergoing a craniotomy procedure for a brain tumor have higher in-hospital postoperative mortality rates than insured patients, according to research published in the November issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Safety-Net Hospital Care Good for Head, Neck Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Providing safety-net hospital care to head and neck cancer patients is not associated with an increase in complications or costs, according to a study published in the November issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Review: Routine Physicals Don't Cut Morbidity, Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Routine health exams do not reduce overall, cardiovascular, or cancer-related morbidity or mortality, according to a review published online Nov. 20 in BMJ.

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Mental Illness, Job Stress Both Factors in Physician Suicides

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of mental illness or job problems may make physicians more vulnerable to suicide than non-physicians, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in General Hospital Psychiatry.

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Optimal Dose Suggested for Dasatinib in Ovarian Cancer

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A phase I trial of dasatinib combined with paclitaxel and carboplatin has determined the optimal dose of dasatinib and suggested some efficacy in women with advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer, according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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Diltiazem Relieves Capecitabine-Induced Chest Pain

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Secondary prophylaxis with diltiazem may offer cancer patients relief from capecitabine-induced chest pain and dyspnea and allow them to tolerate capecitabine treatment, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Direct-to-Consumer Advertising Found Beneficial for Certain Meds

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of aromatase inhibitors (AIs) used in the treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women correlates with an increase in the number of appropriate prescriptions, with no effect on the number of inappropriate prescriptions, according to a study published online Nov. 6 in Cancer.

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Trastuzumab Ups Cardiac Risk for Older Women With Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For older women with early-stage breast cancer, treatment with trastuzumab correlates with increased rates of heart failure and cardiomyopathy, according to a study published online Nov. 14 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Injectable Radioactive Polymer Slows Tumor Growth

THURSDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- An injectable radioactive polymer substantially slows tumor growth and avoids the need for surgical implantation in mice, according to a study published in the Nov. 15 issue of Cancer Research.

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CDC: Breast Cancer Mortality Higher in Black Women

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- With earlier detection and better treatment, the mortality rate from breast cancer has fallen over the last two decades; black women, however, still die from the disease at a disproportionately higher rate than white women, according to research published in the Nov. 13 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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Graphic Pictorial Warning Labels on Cigarettes Most Effective

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Pictorial health warning labels on cigarette packages are effective in reaching adult smokers with low health literacy, with graphic images having the most pronounced effect on all adult smokers, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Early End-of-Life Talks Can Reduce Aggressive Cancer Care

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For stage IV cancer patients, end-of-life (EOL) discussions that are conducted with physicians before the last 30 days of life correlate with less aggressive care close to death and greater use of hospice care, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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New Loci Linked to Lung Cancer in Female Asian Never Smokers

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Three new genetic loci have been associated with lung cancer in Asian women who have never smoked, according to a study published online Nov. 11 in Nature Genetics.

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Bone Marrow Biopsy Adds Little to PET/CT Staging of Hodgkin's

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with treatment-naive Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) staged using [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), routine bone marrow biopsy (BMB) has little or no therapeutic consequence, according to research published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Venous Thromboembolism Risk Up With Cisplatin-Based Chemo

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced solid tumors receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy regimens have a significantly higher risk of having a venous thromboembolic event (VTE) compared with those who do not receive a cisplatin-based regimen, according to research published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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New Mechanism of Action Identified for PARP Inhibitors

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- PARP inhibitors trap PARP enzymes at damaged DNA, inducing cytotoxic complexes, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Cancer Research.

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Optimal Weight to Height Scaling Varies for Cancers

TUESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Optimal scaling of weight to height (W/Hx) may vary according to the cancer site, and differs from body mass index, according to a study published online Nov. 7 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Social Network, Early Breast Cancer Prognosis Link Explored

TUESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- For women with early-stage breast cancer, large social networks predict better prognosis, and this association varies based on social support and burden, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

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Survival Advantage for Whites With Renal Cell Carcinoma

TUESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Regardless of patient and tumor characteristics, white patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) have a consistent survival advantage over black patients, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in Cancer.

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Nucleoside Analogue Tx Cuts Recurrence in HBV-Related HCC

MONDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who undergo curative liver resection, treatment with nucleoside analogues correlates with a reduced risk of HCC recurrence or death, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, held from Nov. 9 to 13 in Boston.

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Social Network Profile May Harm Medical Applicants

MONDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Social networking profiles may harm an applicant's chances of admission to medical school or a residency program, according to a study published online Nov. 8 in the Postgraduate Medical Journal.

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Newly ID'd Gene Important in Hemoglobin Synthesis

FRIDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A new gene has been identified that regulates the production of an important component of hemoglobin, and disruption of the gene can lead to severe anemia, according to research published online Nov. 7 in Nature.

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High Glycemic Load Linked to Worse Colon Cancer Survival

THURSDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced colon cancer with high glycemic load and who consume high levels of carbohydrates during and after chemotherapy have worse survival, according to a study published online Nov. 7 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Mammogram Interpretation Agreement Varies by Finding

THURSDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Agreement between community-based radiologists and an expert radiology panel for interpreting mammograms is high for cancer cases and obvious findings, but is low for subtle and asymmetric lesions, calcifications, asymmetric densities, and architectural distortions, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

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Statin Use at Cancer Diagnosis Linked to Lower Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with cancer, statin use prior to diagnosis correlates with reduced all-cause and cancer-related mortality, according to a study published in the Nov. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Inflammation Marker Linked to Higher Cancer Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated serum levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a marker of chronic inflammation, correlate with increased mortality from all causes and cancer in men but not in women, according to research published in the November issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Triptorelin Doesn't Avert Early Ovarian Failure in Lymphoma

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of lymphoma patients with the gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) triptorelin plus norethisterone does not reduce the rate of chemotherapy-induced premature ovarian failure (POF), according to a study published online Nov. 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Hedgehog Pathway Key in Tamoxifen-Resistant Breast CA

TUESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Noncanonical Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is activated in tamoxifen-resistant tumors, and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor/protein kinase B (PI3K/AKT) pathway plays a key role protecting Hh signaling molecules, according to a study published in the Oct. 1 issue of Cancer Research.

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FDA Approves Expanded Use of Xarelto

MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Approval of the anti-clotting drug Xarelto (rivaroxaban) has been expanded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to include treating deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), and to reduce the risk of recurrent DVT and PE following initial treatment.

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Pain Management Varies Among Palliative Care Centers

MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The management of pain outcomes for terminally ill cancer patients varies widely between inpatient palliative care centers and is affected by organizational factors such as human resources adequacy, according to a study published in the Nov. 15 issue of Cancer.

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RSK Plays Key Role in Melanoma Chemoresistance

MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK) appears to play a role in the poor response of melanoma cells to DNA-damaging agents, according to research published online Oct. 29 in Oncogene.

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Major Illness Increases Venous Thrombosis Risk

FRIDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- People with major illnesses, including liver or kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, heart failure, hemorrhagic stroke, or arterial thrombosis, have an increased risk of venous thrombosis that dramatically increases during periods of immobilization or in the presence of thrombophilia, according to research published online Oct. 26 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Drug Combo Active in Breast Cancer With Brain Metastases

FRIDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Combination treatment of lapatinib plus capecitabine is active in some patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive metastatic breast cancer with progressive brain metastases, and warrants further study, according to a phase 2 study published online Nov. 2 in The Lancet Oncology.

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UV-Independent Pathway ID'd in Those at Risk for Melanoma

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Mice with an inactivating mutation in the melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r) gene, which controls pigment production, have a phenotype similar to red hair/fair skin in humans; these mice have an increased risk of melanoma, even in the absence of ultraviolet radiation exposure, which may act by a mechanism of oxidative damage, according to a study published online Oct. 31 in Nature.

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Mutant Tumor Suppressor Gene ID'd in Mucinous Ovarian Tumors

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The mutated tumor suppressor gene RNF43 is involved in mucinous ovarian tumors, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in The Journal of Pathology.

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Differential miRNA Expression IDs Urothelial Cancer Grade

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Four microRNAs (miRNAs) are differentially expressed in low-grade noninvasive (pTa) and high-grade invasive (pT2-3) urothelial carcinoma, and show potential as diagnostic or prognostic markers, according to a study published in the November issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Anticoagulation Therapy Appears to Be Safe After TAVI

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- After transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) there is no increased risk of bleeding or other adverse outcomes for those patients who have an indication for anticoagulant therapy, according to a study published online Oct. 29 in The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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