This Week’s Colorectal Cancer News in Brief: January 23

Brief Research Reports

  • Positive research studies are much more likely to be published than those with negative results.  They are also published sooner.  The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed  five different analyses of potential publication bias and fund that while 73 percent of clinical trials with positive results were published only 41 percent of those with negative or null findings were reported.  Positive studies took about four or five years to get into print, while negative studies took six to eight.  Sources of funding, sex of the principal researcher, or academic rank didn’t make a difference.  S. Hopewell in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 1.
  • The Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention (EGAPP) Working Group recommends testing of patients with colorectal cancer for Lynch syndrome (also known as hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or HNPCC) to reduce risk of colorectal cancer in their relatives.  However, they did not find enough evidence to recommend a specific testing strategy among several they looked at.  EGAPP is an initiative of the Centers for Disease Control to study evidence for genetic testing and other genetic technology. EGAPP Working Group in Genetics in Medicine, January 2009.
  • EGAPP cannot recommend testing for the UGT1A1 polymorphism at this time because they did not find direct evidence that the benefits of testing  outweigh potential harms of not providing an adequate dose of irinotecan.  They found the test sensitive for finding those patients who might be at risk for increased toxicity for irinotecan, but no way to tell what the best method to manage that risk was. They called for randomized clinical trials of irinotecan dose based on UGT1A1 genotype. EGAPP Working Group in Genetics in Medicine, January 2009.

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