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The lancet specialty journals press releases

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THE LANCET ONCOLOGY (TLO)

OVERWEIGHT, OBESITY, AND CANCER RISK

A review in this month's issue highlights how excess body weight is directly associated with cancer risk at several organ sites, including colon, breast (in postmenopausal women), endometrium, oesophagus, and kidney. Authors of the review suggest that these associations with cancer risk may be explained by alterations in the metabolism of endogenous hormones--including sex steroids, insulin, and insulin-like growth factors--which can lead to distortion of the normal balance between cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis (cell death). They conclude that avoidance of weight gain seems to be an important factor for cancer prevention.

This month's Leading Edge editorial ('You are what you eat') examines the dramatic increases in obesity worldwide, the growing number of legal attacks on the fast-food industry, and the effectiveness of government policies designed to tackle the growing health burden in relation to obesity.

OTHER REVIEWS:

Part I: Chemotherapy for epithelial ovarian cancer--treatment at first diagnosis
Part II: Chemotherapy for epithelial ovarian cancer--treatment of recurrent disease

A two-part review about ovarian cancer. The first review deals with first-line treatment of primary ovarian cancer and highlights that platinum agents are the most important drugs for treatment of this disease; however doubts remain over the dose, timing, duration, and scheduling of these agents to obtain optimum benefit. The second review deals with the use of chemotherapy to treat recurrent ovarian cancer. The paper discusses a wide range of treatment options and the problems that still need to be overcome to improve treatment.

Green fluorescent protein imaging of tumour growth, metastasis, and angiogenesis in mouse models

Poor-prognosis high-grade gliomas: evolving an evidence-based standard of care

THE PRICE OF ANTICANCER INTERVENTION

This month's Forum is a four-author debate about the prevalence of secondary cancers--the ironic situation where a patient treated for cancer can sometimes develop a second cancer as a direct consequence of their initial treatment.

THE LANCET INFECTIOUS DISEASES (TLID)

WEST NILE VIRUS EXPLAINED

The USA is currently in the midst of its worst ever West Nile virus outbreak. In the September issue of TLID, Grant L Campbell and colleagues from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, review the cause, epidemiology, transmission, clinical features, pathology, and management of West Nile virus infection. The virus is a human, equine, and avian neuropathogen that is maintained in nature in a mosquito-bird-mosquito transmission cycle. Campbell and colleagues predict that viraemic birds will eventually spread the disease across the USA, to Central and South America, and to the Caribbean.

WHO GETS SMALLPOX VACCINE?

The Leading Edge editorial discusses who should receive the smallpox vaccine, and concludes that although now is not the time to offer vaccination to the general public the issue should be reconsidered in a year's time when stocks of a new safer vaccine will be available.

FLUOROQUINOLONE RESISTANCE

David Hooper, Massachusetts General Hospital, reviews resistance to fluoroquinolone antibiotics among Gram positive cocci bacteria such as streptococci and enterococci. "Further spread and selection of such resistance could compromise the utility of a valuable class of antimicrobial agents, a point that emphasises the importance of the careful use of these agents in appropriate patients and doses, as well as careful infection-control practices", Hooper states.

Other reviews:

Infection and solid organ transplant rejection: a cause-and-effect relationship?
Antifungal drug resistance to azoles and polyenes
Malaria: current status of control, diagnosis, treatment, and a proposed agenda for research and development

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