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Cancer Genetics Study Logs 5,000th Tumor Profile, Expands Scope

Cancer Genetics Study Logs 5,000th Tumor Profile, Expands Scope | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A major ongoing cancer genetics study has completed its 5,000th tumor profile. Patients at several major cancer treatment centers are offered the option of having the genetic profiles of their tumor samples recorded in a database for cancer researchers. The data is used in numerous studies investigating the genetic origins of cancer and potential new targeted treatments. The study, known as Profile, is now also adding data from childhood cancers. Additionally, it is transitioning to next-generation DNA analysis technology, which allows researchers to analyze more genes, more quickly. Instead of only scanning for known mutations, the new technology can also detect previously unknown DNA alterations, raising the number of measurable mutations from 471 to potentially millions.

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Medical Xpress | Sep 12, 2013

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Medical Xpress | Sep 12, 2013

Cancer Commons's curator insight, September 16, 2013 8:45 PM

Medical Xpress | Sep 12, 2013

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Clinical Trial Evaluates Targeted Cancer Treatment in All Tumor Types

New drugs targeting specific molecular abnormalities in cancer patients have shown great promise in recent years. However, so far, no study has examined systematically whether such targeted therapies indeed produce better results overall than traditional treatment. The SHIVA trial is the first clinical trial comparing outcomes with targeted treatment based on molecular testing to those with conventional treatment across all tumor types. Patients with a variety of different persistent cancers are either treated with targeted therapies aimed at the molecular profile of their tumor or given standard chemotherapy based on the anatomical location of their tumor. Enrollment has begun in several cancer centers across France and preliminary results confirm the study design is indeed feasible.

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Science Codex | Sep 11, 2013

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Science Codex | Sep 11, 2013

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Science Codex | Sep 11, 2013

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More Lung Cancer Patients May Benefit from Xalkori Than Previously Thought

More Lung Cancer Patients May Benefit from Xalkori Than Previously Thought | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Xalkori (crizotinib) is very effective for most non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with mutations in the ALK gene. However, new evidence suggests that current criteria for ALK mutation may be missing patients who could be treated with Xalkori. A recent study of NSCLC patients found that 8.5% had tumors that contained more than 10% cells with ALK mutations, but less than 15%, the current cut-off for 'ALK-positive' lung cancer. These patients may benefit from Xalkori or other ALK inhibitors. Moreover, some patients have atypical ALK mutations that are not detected by the standard test. A patient with such atypical ALK mutations profiled in a recent case study responded well to Xalkori treatment.

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Medical Xpress | Sep 10, 2013

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New Cancer Drug Reolysin Shrinks Lung Tumors

Interim results from a phase II clinical trial of the new cancer drug Reolysin in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), show that tumors shrank in 23 of 25 patients. The patients had SCC that had spread from its original site, or recurred after treatment, and were treated with the chemotherapy drugs Paraplatin (carboplatin) and Taxol/Abraxane (paclitaxel) in addition to Reolysin. Ten patients experienced tumor shrinkage and 13 experienced stable disease, while the cancer progressed in 2 patients. On average, tumors shrank by a third of their original size. Reolysin consists of a modified form of a virus that selectively attacks cancer cells, while producing no symptoms in most healthy people.

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Businessweek | Sep 9, 2013

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Chemotherapy Improves Survival in Elderly Patients with SCLC

Chemotherapy Improves Survival in Elderly Patients with SCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A recent retrospective study of outcomes in elderly patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) found that chemotherapy treatment was associated with longer survival. Patients aged 65 years and older who had received chemotherapy lived, on average, 6.5 months longer than those who had not. Even in patients over age 80 years, chemotherapy provided a survival benefit. Despite this, one-third of elderly SCLC patients were never given chemotherapy, and one-sixth were never even referred to a medical oncologist (cancer specialist). These findings suggest that chemotherapy is an effective treatment for SCLC in elderly patients and should be more widely used in this population.

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ScienceDaily | Sep 4, 2013

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Cancer Researcher: No Need for Further EGFR Inhibitor Versus Chemotherapy Trials

No more trials comparing EGFR inhibitors to chemotherapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) should be conducted, argues an editorial by cancer researcher Corey Langer. Eight separate trials have found that EGFR inhibitors like erlotinib (Tarceva), gefitinib (Iressa), and afatinib (Gilotrif) produce better results than chemotherapy in NSCLC patients who have mutations in the EGFR gene. No further confirmation is needed, Langer contends. Instead, research should focus on ways to overcome the drug resistance that many patients eventually develop to EGFR inhibitors, meaningfully extending overall survival in NSCLC, and directly comparing the relative effectiveness and safety of Tarceva, Iressa, and Gilotrif.

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Medscape | Sep 3, 2013

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Selenium Does Not Prevent Lung Cancer Recurrence

Selenium has been suggested to have preventative effects against lung cancer. In a recent clinical trial, patients with stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that had been completely surgically removed were given either selenium supplements or a placebo for 2 years after surgery. Interim results showed that patients receiving selenium were no less likely to have their lung cancer return than those given a placebo. Because there were hints that selenium-treated patients may be indeed more likely to develop new tumors, the study was halted. Final analyses show no harm from taking selenium, but no protection against lung cancer either.

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Journal of Clinical Oncology | Sep 3, 2013

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High Body Weight Is Protective Early On in Lung Cancer, But Not Later

High Body Weight Is Protective Early On in Lung Cancer, But Not Later | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

People with a higher body mass index (BMI)–that is, those who are heavy for their height–are at lower risk of lung cancer. However, the effect of BMI on those who do develop lung cancer is less understood. A recent study found that among patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), those who were obese had higher survival rates early in the study than normal-weight or merely overweight patients. However, after 16 months on the study, the survival rates of obese patients dropped below those of other patients. Over time, the risk of death from other causes that obesity poses appears to outweigh the protective effect of high body weight against death from lung cancer.

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Healio | Aug 29, 2013

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Tambre Leighn's curator insight, September 7, 2013 3:36 PM

Headlines like this drive me crazy!  Read the fine print and the article says that other health risks created by obesity outweigh any potential obesity may have to "protect" against lung cancer...and if you are diagnosed with it, then it also works against you.  With obesity at an all time high, putting out misleading headlines that purport any benefit to being obese is irresponsible.  This headline would better serve us if were "High Body Weight Increases Risk of Death From Causes Other Than Lung Cancer and Potentially Impacts Survival Rates if Diagnosed with Lung Cancer."

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ASCO Guidelines Wiki

ASCO Guidelines Wiki | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has launched a new wiki site to engage the cancer community in its clinical practice guideline development process. The new site will provide oncologists, practitioners, and patients with an opportunity to provide feedback or submit evidence on individual published guidelines. All information is open for viewing. 

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ASCO Guidlines, Sept 2, 2013

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Gilotrif to Be Commercially Available in the U.S. Soon

Afatinib (Gilotrif), a new drug for the treatment of some lung cancers, will become commercially available in the U.S. beginning the week of September 2. Gilotrif is approved as a first-line treatment for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have certain mutations in the EGFR gene. A companion diagnostic, the therascreen EGFR RGQ PCR Kit, can detect these specific EGFR mutations, so-called exon 19 deletions or exon 21 (L858R) substitutions. The makers of the drug will offer a patient support program to provide financial and other support to help patients who might otherwise not have access to Gilotrif.

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Yahoo! Finance | Aug 22, 2013

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Daily Aspirin Linked to Smaller Tumors in Lung and Colon Cancer

A retrospective analysis of data from thousands of cancer patients showed that lung and colon cancer patients who had been taking daily low-dose aspirin before diagnosis had smaller tumors. Their cancer was also 20% to 40% less likely to have spread to other parts of the body. It is still unclear whether aspirin indeed caused the less severe diagnoses or whether separate, independent factors make people both more likely to take daily aspirin and to have less advanced lung or colon cancers. Future studies may address this question. No association between daily aspirin and cancer severity was found in prostate or breast cancer.

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Reuters | Aug 16, 2013

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Reuters | Aug 16, 2013

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Foreign-Born Hispanic Lung Cancer Patients Have Higher Survival Rates

Hispanic lung cancer patients have higher survival rates than their non-Hispanic white (NHW) counterparts, even though they are more likely to be diagnosed at advanced disease stages and less likely to receive treatment. A study of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) found that foreign-born Hispanic patients had a lower risk of dying from the disease than both NHW and U.S.-born Hispanic patients with the same diagnosis. The survival advantage of foreign-born over U.S.-born Hispanic patients was especially pronounced in low-income and/or mostly Hispanic neighborhoods. The reasons for this pattern are unclear, but may include community social support, differences in diet and/or smoking rates, or the fact that healthier individuals are more likely to migrate to another country.

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Journal of Clinical Oncology | Aug 19, 2013

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Clinical Laboratory in Indiana to Offer Blood Test for Lung Cancer

Mid America Clinical Laboratories, the largest clinical laboratory in Indiana, will begin offering EarlyCDT-Lung, a blood test designed to help diagnose lung cancer early on. EarlyCDT-Lung checks whether the patient has antibodies (immune system components) associated with a number of tumor-related proteins. High levels of such antibodies suggest that cancer may be present. EarlyCDT is highly accurate and specific for lung cancer, is less likely than computed tomography (CT) scans to falsely detect cancer when none is present, and can detect cancer-related antibodies up to 5 years before a tumor can be found using other screening methods. Such early detection is vital because lung cancer survival rates are higher when the disease is diagnosed at an early stage.

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PRWeb | Aug 14, 2013

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FDA Puts Lung Cancer Drug Ganetespib on Fast Track

FDA Puts Lung Cancer Drug Ganetespib on Fast Track | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Ganetespib, a potential new treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), has been granted Fast Track status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Fast Track status, reserved for drugs aimed at serious conditions with unmet treatment needs, provides for closer FDA guidance during the drug development process and quicker review for approval. Two clinical trials, GALAXY-1 and GALAXY-2, are currently examining the use of ganetespib in combination with the chemotherapy agent Taxotere (docetaxel) for treating advanced lung adenocarcinoma, a type of NSCLC. Ganetespib acts by blocking Hsp90, a protein that facilitates several components of tumor development and spread.

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MarketWatch | Sep 12, 2013

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Personalized Treatment Yields Results for Cancer Patients

Personalized Treatment Yields Results for Cancer Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Personalized cancer medicine uses genetic testing of patients’ tumors to guide individually tailored treatment decisions. Such tests can determine which chemotherapies would likely be most effective and whether the patient may benefit from novel drugs targeting specific mutations. One example is the case of Elizabeth Lacasia, who has advanced bronchioalveolar carcinoma, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Testing revealed that she does not have any of the mutations targeted by the new drugs. Based on her test results, she was treated with a combination of Tarceva (erlotinib) and Alimta (pemetrexed) following an alternating schedule that has been proven effective for people with her cancer type. Her cancer has been in remission for 2 years.

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Newswise | Sep 10, 2013

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U.S. Government Report Outlines Serious Future Challenges in Cancer Care

U.S. Government Report Outlines Serious Future Challenges in Cancer Care | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A report by a U.S. government panel of experts warns of upcoming profound challenges in cancer care. The aging population means the number of cancer cases is growing and there may not be enough oncologists (cancer specialists) to care for all of them. While research has yielded new insights and produced innovative cancer treatments, better strategies are needed to ensure doctors can keep up with the many complex new medications. Medical professionals also need to develop easy-to-understand ways to communicate information to cancer patients, who are still often misinformed about their illness and treatment options. The report includes a list of questions patients should ask to ensure that they make informed choices about their care.

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Associated Press | Sep 10, 2013

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Associated Press | Sep 10, 2013

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Associated Press | Sep 10, 2013

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Molecular Marker Predicts Response to Iressa and Tarceva

Molecular Marker Predicts Response to Iressa and Tarceva | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A molecule named Mig 6 may help predict how much a patient will benefit from EGFR inhibitors like Tarceva (erlotinib) or Iressa (gefitinib). Preliminary results from an ongoing study reveal that cancer cells that are resistant to EGFR inhibitors have high Mig 6 levels. In an animal model of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) without EGFR mutations, higher Mig 6 levels predicted more resistance to EGFR inhibitor treatment. Finally, NSCLC patients with low Mig 6 levels were more likely to survive for over a year after EGFR inhibitor treatments. Mig 6 may help identify patients who would most benefit from EGFR inhibitors.

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Medical Xpress | Sep 5, 2013

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New Tool Helps to Tell Cancerous Lung Spots from Benign Ones

New Tool Helps to Tell Cancerous Lung Spots from Benign Ones | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Researchers have developed a 'risk calculator' that can identify with 90% accuracy whether spots or bumps (so-called 'nodules') detected by a CT (computed tomography) scan in high-risk individuals are indeed lung cancer or not. Prevention experts recommend annual low-dose lung CT scans for heavy smokers. However, these scans also detect many nodules that are not cancer and follow-up interventions can be costly and dangerous. The new risk calculation software uses several different factors, including the size of the nodule and its location in the lung; the patient’s age, sex, and family history; and more, to predict whether a given nodule is cancerous. Experts hope that this tool will reduce unnecessary follow-up procedures, while increasing early detection of lung cancer.

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Medical Xpress | Sep 4, 2013

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Trial Investigating Iressa After Lung Cancer Surgery Terminated Early

A clinical trial investigating whether the cancer drug gefinitib (Iressa) can improve outcomes after lung cancer surgery has been ended early. The trial followed patients who were given either Iressa or a placebo after receiving surgery to completely remove their non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). When two other studies showed no benefit of Iressa in similar disease situations, the trial was terminated. Due to the early termination of the trial, no firm conclusions can be drawn from the results. However, analysis of the already collected data suggests that Iressa likely did not improve survival, or delay cancer recurrence in this patient population, and may have indeed been harmful.

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CancerNetwork | Sep 2, 2013

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Researchers Identify Potential New Target in SCLC Treatment

Researchers Identify Potential New Target in SCLC Treatment | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Collagen, the main building block of skin and tendons, can also contribute to suppressing cancer growth. DDR2, one of the proteins that collagen interacts with, is mutated in some cases of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Researchers have found that when DDR2 is activated by collagen, it in turn activates a protein called SHP-2. It also prevents cell cultures from forming clusters, a model of tumor formation. However, mutant forms of DDR2 that occur in SCC, did not have this effect on cell cultures, and some also did not activate SHP-2, suggesting that lack of SHP-2 activation may contribute to SCC. Drugs that mimic the activity of SHP-2 may offer targeted treatments for SCC.

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Institute of Cancer Research | Aug 30, 2013

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Researchers Identify Critical Gene Involved in Lung Cancer Growth

Researchers Identify Critical Gene Involved in Lung Cancer Growth | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Notch genes are a family of genes that are involved in cancer growth. However, they also control many other biological functions, so drugs blocking all Notch genes are severely toxic. Now, researchers have identified one specific member of this gene family that plays a particularly important role in at least some cancers. Inhibiting this gene, Notch1, prevented tumor growth and caused cancer cells to die in both cell culture and animal models of lung adenocarcinoma, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Drugs selectively targeting Notch1 may offer a less toxic approach to halting lung cancer growth.

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Medical Xpress | Aug 29, 2013

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Second-Line Chemotherapy More Effective Than Tarceva in Lung Cancer without EGFR Mutations

Second-Line Chemotherapy More Effective Than Tarceva in Lung Cancer without EGFR Mutations | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

EGFR inhibitors like erlotinib (Tarceva) are highly effective for most patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have mutations in the EGFR gene. However, results from the TAILOR clinical trial suggest that, in patients without EGFR mutations (who have so-called EGFR wild-type NSCLC), EGFR inhibitors may be less effective than chemotherapy as second-line treatment. Patients with advanced wild-type NSCLC who had previously been treated with platinum-based chemotherapy were given either Tarceva or the chemotherapy agent docetaxel (Taxotere). Average survival in the Taxotere-treated group (8.2 months) was longer than in the Tarceva group (5.4 months).

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Healio | Aug 21, 2013

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VeriStrat Test Can Predict Lesser Response to Tarceva

VeriStrat Test Can Predict Lesser Response to Tarceva | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

EGFR inhibitors like erlotinib (Tarceva) can greatly benefit non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with mutations in the EGFR gene, but their effectiveness in patients without such mutations is less clear. VeriStrat is a blood test meant to predict how well patients would respond to EGFR-inhibitor treatment. A study designed to evaluate VeriStrat examined patients with advanced NSCLC without EGFR mutations in whom platinum-based chemotherapy had stopped working and who received either different chemotherapy or Tarceva as their second-line treatment. Patients with a VeriStrat result of 'poor' survived longer when treated with chemotherapy than with Tarceva. In contrast, chemotherapy and Tarceva worked equally well for those with a 'good' test result. Good VeriStrat results also predicted longer survival in general.

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ASCO Post | Aug 21, 2013

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Tumor Size Affects Survival Rate in Advanced Lung Cancer

Tumor Size Affects Survival Rate in Advanced Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Current clinical practice does not consider tumor size when assessing advanced lung cancer because tumor size is not presumed to matter as much once the cancer has spread from the original site. However, a recent study found that tumor size was associated with survival rates in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients whose total tumor dimensions were below 7.5 cm (around 3 inches) in diameter had longer life expectancies. These findings suggest that doctors should consider tumor size in advanced NSCLC for prognosis and treatment decisions. Clinical trials may also need to take tumor size into account to avoid biasing their results.

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Medical Xpress | Aug 19, 2013

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Researchers Identify Genetic 'Signatures' of Cancer Development

All cancers are driven by genetic mutations that develop in a person's body cells over her or his lifetime. However, what causes these mutations is still largely unknown. Now, researchers have released the findings of a large-scale study that sheds light on these processes. Investigators analyzed the genetic makeup of 30 common cancers in thousands of patients and identified 21 patterns of mutation, or 'signatures,' underlying cancer development. All cancer types had at least two signatures, and some had up to six, reflecting the multiple influences that contribute to cancer. The researchers also uncovered the biological processes behind many of these signatures, such as aging or enzymes involved in fighting off virus infections.

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Reuters | Aug 14, 2013

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Reuters | Aug 14, 2013

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Reuters | Aug 14, 2013

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Reuters | Aug 14, 2013