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What is New in the Journal?

What is New in the Journal?

February 2009

  1. 2009 Annual Review Issue: Stem cells in pathobiology and regenerative medicine

  2. An appreciation of the late Jeremy Jass

  3. The insulin-like growth factor system and sarcomas

  4. Older individuals appear to acquire mitotically older colorectal cancers


1. 2009 Annual Review Issue: Stem cells in pathobiology and regenerative medicine.

(Available free - click here)



2: An appreciation of the late Jeremy Jass by Neil Shepherd and Basil Morson.

(Available free - click here)



3:  The insulin-like growth factor system and sarcomas by Bart Rikhof, Steven de Jong, Albert JH Suurmeijer, Coby Meijer, Winette TA van der Graaf. 

(Available free - click here)


Sarcomas are a diverse group of malignant mesenchymal tumours arising from bone and soft tissues. The identification of critical cellular signalling pathways in sarcomas is an important issue for the development of new targeted therapies. This review highlights the experimental and clinical evidence supporting the role of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signalling system in the cellular transformation and progression of several types of sarcoma, including rhabdomyosarcoma, synovial sarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma and osteosarcoma. Preclinical data suggest that the IGF system could be a promising target for therapy in these sarcomas. Currently, therapies interrupting IGF signalling have been or are being developed. In recent phase 1 clinical studies with humanized monoclonal antibodies directed against IGF receptor type 1 (IGF-1R), objective tumour responses were observed in several patients with Ewing's sarcoma, encouraging further clinical testing in Ewing's sarcoma and other sarcoma (sub)types. Moreover, the occasional occurrence of paraneoplastic hypoglycaemia as a result of the secretion of incompletely processed forms of pro-IGF-II by sarcomas is discussed.



4: Older individuals appear to acquire mitotically older colorectal cancers byYen-Jung Woo, Kimberly D Siegmund, Simon Tavaré, Darryl Shibata.

(click here)


The incidence of many common cancers increases with ageing. The purpose of this study is to infer whether cancer mitotic ages (total numbers of divisions since the zygote) also increase with chronological age. Mitotic ages may be inferred by counting numbers of replication errors or neutral passenger changes. Methylation at certain CpG-rich sequences or appears to be proportional to mitotic age, because age-related increases in tag methylation are observed in mitotic tissues such as the colon. Such passenger tag methylation was measured by bisulphite sequencing from 16 colorectal cancers from differently aged male individuals. Both normal colon and cancers exhibited significant age-related increases in tag methylation, but cancer methylation was significantly higher. Therefore, older individuals appear to have mitotically older colorectal cancers. Cell division per se may be an important mechanism underlying the increased incidence of colorectal cancer with ageing, because the neoplastic phase appears more commonly to start from mitotically older crypt stem cells.

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