Monthly Archives: October 2004

‘Women’s doctor’ has new meaning

  • 10/31/2004
  • Chicago, IL
  • Lindsey Tanner
  • FortWayne.com (Journal Gazette)

Beyond the tired clichés and sperm-and-egg basics taught in grade-school science class, researchers are discovering that men and women are even more different than anyone realized.

It turns out that major illnesses like heart disease and lung cancer are influenced by gender and that perhaps treatments for women ought to be slightly different from the approach used for men.

These discoveries are part of a quiet but revolutionary change infiltrating U.S. medicine as a growing number of scientists realize there’s more to women’s health than just the anatomy that makes them female, and that the same diseases often affect men and women in different ways.

“Women are different than men, not only psychologically (but) physiologically, and I think we need to understand those differences,” says Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

DeAngelis, who became the journal’s first female editor in 1999, says she has made it a mission to publish only research in which data are broken down by sex unless it involves a disease that affects just men or women.

And this fall, the office of Surgeon General will issue its first-ever report on osteoporosis. The crippling bone-thinning disease disproportionately affects women, who lose the bone-protecting effects of estrogen at menopause. The report will emphasize prevention – and that it’s not just a woman’s disease – 20 percent of patients are men, said Wanda Jones, director of the Office on Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The gender-based medicine movement isn’t an effort to diminish the importance of breast cancer, but is meant to emphasize that “we have more than one body part, folks. Up until now … that awareness just hasn’t been there,” said Sherry Marts of the Society for Women’s Health Research. That organization seeks to expand the definition of women’s health beyond breast and reproductive health.

Until the 1990s, scientists frequently excluded women from medical research, including drug studies. It was largely out of concern over effects on reproduction but also because of a long-standing belief that men and women “were biologically the same except for their reproductive organs,” Marts said.

However, recent discoveries suggest that genes, hormones and lifestyle may be behind many of the differences. For example:

•Heart attacks in women frequently don’t involve chest pain and may involve vaguer, flu-like symptoms.

•Women who don’t smoke appear to be more susceptible to lung cancer than non-smoking men. Women also tend to get lung cancer at younger ages than men, and they appear to metabolize cancer-causing substances differently from men.

•Women are less likely than men to get oral cancer.

•Women are more prone to autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, in which disease-fighting mechanisms mistakenly attack the body’s own tissues.

•Some AIDS-fighting medicines appear to metabolize more quickly in men than in women, who may require gender-specific doses.

•Women’s symptoms for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease – debilitating intestinal diseases that affect men and women – vary considerably each month, requiring frequent medication adjustments.

October, 2004|Archive|

Beating Tongue Cancer

  • 10/31/2004
  • Ivanhoe Newswire
  • The Traingle & Fayetteville Headlines

Combining radiation and chemotherapy to kill cancer cells is often very difficult on patients because of the side effects, but new research shows the results may be worth it.

Days like this with her family make it all worthwhile for Ruth Toseland. Three years ago, she was diagnosed with tongue cancer. A portion of her tongue was removed, but the cancer came back. After two more surgeries, she opted for an extreme treatment, radiation combined with chemotherapy.

Oncologist Julie A. Kish, M.D., of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., was involved in a national study that may change the treatment of choice for patients at high risk for recurrence. “At two years, the recurrence rate was lower in patients that had the combined treatment as opposed to radiation alone,” she said.

But the treatment is very hard on the patient. Researchers say four of the 228 patients in the study died as a result of the combined therapy. Still, Dr. Kish says, for some, the tough approach is worth it. “If you can prolong the time until the cancer comes back, which potentially, at some point in time, it may not come back, which we never say because we can’t predict that, it’s worth going through it.”

Ruth finished her treatment two and half years ago. So far, the cancer has not returned. Her husband, Michael, said, “We’ve got a lot to be thankful for. It was touch and go for a long time.”

Ruth’s case was unusual in the sense that she had no risk factors for head and neck cancer. This type of cancer usually happens to men over age 50 that smoke and/or drink.

Dr. Kish said the longer the patient goes without recurrence, the less likely it is that the cancer will come back. The first two years are the most risky.

October, 2004|Archive|

Study Reports Key Ingredient of Chapparal Shrinks Tumors in Head and Neck Cancer

  • 10/31/2004
  • Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.
  • Weekly CancerDecisions.com

Herb-derived Drug Fights Head and Neck Cancer

South Carolina doctors have announced that a drug called M4N shrinks inoperable tumors of the head and neck region. Researchers injected M4N directly into the tumors of eight such patients who were not eligible for surgery. According to press releases, they saw evidence that the agent killed the tumors in these patients, all of whom had advanced, otherwise untreatable forms of the disease.

“This study revealed that M4N was generally well-tolerated without direct toxicity,” Terry A. Day, MD, told colleagues at the 6th International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer in Washington, DC, August 10, 2004. Dr. Day is Associate Professor and Director of the Division of Head and Neck Oncology Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He is the author of over 150 scientific publications and is president of the Yul Brynner Head & Neck Cancer Foundation. The meeting was sponsored by the American Head and Neck Society (http://www.sic2004.org/).

Dr. Day and his colleagues now plan a larger, Phase II study aimed at showing whether, and at what dosage, the drug really works in this intractable kind of cancer.

American Society of Clinical Oncology Study

Dr. Day’s report followed a related one presented a few months earlier at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) convention in New Orleans. At this June 2004 meeting, Frank R. Dunphy, MD, and colleagues from the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, Durham, NC (one of the top rated cancer centers in the US) presented the results of their study, in which M4N was injected directly into the tumors of patients with relapsed or refractory (i.e., treatment resistant) head and neck cancer.

Such patients generally have a poor prognosis with only a 10 percent two-year survival. Because M4N has shown activity in laboratory animals when injected intratumorally (i.e., directly into tumors), the same method of administration was used in this trial. The dose was 20 milligrams of the agent per cubic centimeter of tumor, given once weekly for three weeks. Three patients (one woman and two men) were treated. Their ages ranged from 54 to 82, with a median (average) age of 65.

The treatment given at Duke was not without side effects. One patient experienced an episode of heart-block requiring two hospitalizations. Another patient developed a fistula from the trachea to the skin, which necessitated withdrawal from study. All patients experienced pain at the injection site, which was severe enough to require intravenous morphine. (However, as the doctors gained experience with the injection technique, the pain became less severe.)

But the therapeutic results were dramatic: in all three patients “injected tumor volumes were observed to respond by crusting within one week of the first injection, followed within two weeks by necrosis and ulceration.” The two patients who completed the course of three intratumoral injections had “total necrosis of the injected tumor site.” This was certainly quite encouraging in a group with such a dire prognosis. Unfortunately, though, this local dying back of the tumor at the injection site was “followed by disease progression outside the boundaries of the injected tumor volume”.

The Duke authors concluded that “M4N intratumor injection was feasible and showed promising antitumor activity in relapsed-refractory squamous cell cancer.”

Both the Duke University and MUSC groups are participating in an NCI-sponsored clinical trial with BioCure Medical, a small drug company based in the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina.

The description of the trial at the NCI’s clinical trials website (www.clinicaltrials.gov) is as follows:

“The purpose of this study will be to determine the safety and tolerability of intratumoral M4N. Patients suffering from cancer of the head and neck that is recurrent after primary treatment with surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy may be eligible. The design is a Phase 1 dose escalation study of M4N administered intratumorally once weekly, initially for three weeks. Dose will be escalated on the starting schedule to a target of 20 mg/cm3 [milligrams per cubic centimeter, ed.] tumor volume and then, new patient cohorts will have their schedule extended to weekly M4N for 4 weeks. Dose escalation will continue, assuming tolerability, so that cohorts will be treated for 6 weeks, and finally, 8 weeks” (www.clinicaltrials.gov).

The Transformation of a Folk Remedy

It seems ironic that the US government now has a financial interest in M4N, since it has done so much over the years to discourage the exploration of chaparral as a cancer treatment. First, the effectiveness of chaparral was denigrated. Then, based on toxicity concerns, it was virtually banned by an agreement between the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the food supplement industry.

So far, however, the chaparral derivative in question does not appear to cause the kind of systemic toxicity that is mentioned in the scientific literature. Initial tests on patients showed that, when it was injected intratumorally, it did not cause the serious liver damage sometimes associated with systemic use of the plant extract.

What is Chaparral?

The term “chaparral” actually refers not to a particular species but to a community of plants, indigenous to the American West and Southwest, that is dominated by evergreen shrubs. Chapparal is also called greasewood, creosote bush or Mediterranean scrubland and grows in dense thickets to a height of four to eight feet. Chaparral is made up of thorny plants including ceanothus, manzanita, chamise, and various evergreen oaks. In most scientific discussions, however, the word usually refers specifically to two particular species of the genus Larrea, L. divaricata and L. tridentata. Some years ago I drove from Phoenix, AZ to San Diego, CA as part of a cross country trip and well remember seeing acre upon acre of chaparral for the length of that 350 mile journey. Despite efforts to ban its sale, chapparal is still available over the Internet and, given its abundance, is very inexpensive. A pound of the stuff sells for under $10!

Chaparral tea is an old Indian and folk remedy for many ailments. It is considered a very effective detoxifier. Chaparral was the main ingredient in the original and controversial “Jason Winters tea” formula. It has also been used in many “black ointment” salves, some of which are associated with toxic skin reactions.

In his monumental study, Plants in Use Against Cancer, the late Jonathan Hartwell, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute, reported the ethnobotanical use of chaparral against stomach cancer. Chaparral remains a popular remedy for a wide variety of illnesses. It was propounded as an American remedy for cancer over half a century ago and is used for the same purpose in at least one other country, Argentina.

October, 2004|Archive|

Proxinium Demonstrates Positive Clinical Responses in Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Trial

  • 10/27/2004
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Press Release
  • Pharmalive.com

Viventia Biotech Inc. today announced the results of the first Phase I clinical study completed with its lead product candidate Proxinium™ for the treatment of advanced, recurrent head and neck cancer. The results, which demonstrate documented tumour responses in several patients, were announced at the Rodman & Renshaw Techvest 6th Annual Healthcare Conference in New York.

The study, which completed enrollment in 8 months, was primarily designed to assess the safety and tolerability of Proxinium™ monotherapy over an escalating dose range. Patients enrolled in this study had advanced head and neck cancer and continuing disease progression, and the majority had failed previous courses of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Preliminary clinical data from the study strongly support the safety profile of Proxinium™, with the observation of mostly mild treatment-related side effects, such as injection site pain.

In addition to positive safety outcomes, Proxinium™ treatment also resulted in several independently verified clinical responses. Of the 24 patients that were dosed in the study, 17 patients expressed the therapeutic target for Proxinium™, from which 14 patients were evaluated for their response to treatment.

Of those 14 patients, two patients experienced significant tumour regressions of their treated lesions and four other patients experienced minor tumour regressions, yielding an objective response rate of 43%. Four other patients had stable disease following Proxinium™ treatment. Tumour growth control (objective responses plus stable disease) was therefore achieved in 71% of treated lesions.

The historical survival rate for advanced, recurrent head and neck cancer patients is approximately 3-5 months. At the conclusion of this study more than half of the patients were still alive, some of whom are approaching 12 months of survival following therapy. Final results are to be published at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in May 2005.

These results (43% objective response rate, 71% tumour growth control rate) compare very favourably with recently released Phase II data in advanced, recurrent head and neck cancer using other experimental agents: a) Phase II clinical trial data for cetuximab monotherapy presented at the ASCO conference in June 2004 demonstrated a 12% objective response rate; b) Phase II clinical data for p53 gene therapy presented at the AACR conference in March 2004 demonstrated a 10% objective response rate.

In June 2004, Viventia announced the initiation of a second Phase I clinical study of Proxinium™ for the treatment of head and neck cancer. This ongoing study, which is over 75% enrolled, seeks to define the safety and efficacy of Proxinium™ treatment over a more intensive dosing schedule than that studied in the first Phase I trial. Audited patient outcomes data is not expected until Q1 2005. However, in an interim update Viventia disclosed that objective tumour responses have already been observed in this second study, and reported that at least one patient dosed with Proxinium™ has achieved a complete tumour regression (i.e. complete disappearance of their treated tumour).

Dr. Nick Glover, President and CEO of Viventia, commented: “These results have exceeded our expectations. While we expected Proxinium™ therapy to be safe and well tolerated, as our clinical studies demonstrate, we are extremely encouraged to see such positive indications of Proxinium™’s potential clinical benefit at this early stage of development. Indeed, these observations are quite remarkable given that these clinical studies were not optimized to demonstrate such responses”. Dr. Glover continued: “We designed Proxinium™ to offer a safer and more beneficial therapy for head and neck cancer patients, key attributes that are strongly supported by this positive clinical data. Our strategy remains to aggressively target advanced clinical testing in 2005”.

Dr. Barry Wenig, Professor of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, and Director of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Evanston Northwestern Hospital, Chicago, a clinical adviser to the Company, said: “Patients with advanced, recurrent head and neck cancers, particularly those who have failed radiotherapy or chemotherapy, frequently have limited therapeutic options. Proxinium™ is being developed in a clinical setting that anticipates its potential utility for the local treatment of such cancers. These preliminary data appear very promising in that regard.”

October, 2004|Archive|

Radiotherapy + cetuximab significantly improve disease control and survival in head and neck cancer

  • 10/26/2004
  • Federation of European Cancer Societies
  • EurekAlert.org

Combination treatment using the monoclonal antibody cetuximab, along with high dose radiotherapy in the treatment of patients with loco-regionally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck results in significant improvements in both loco-regional control and overall survival, according to Dr. Jordi Giralt of Val d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain, speaking here today (Tuesday 26th October) at the 23rd Meeting of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.
Head and neck cancers (e.g. oropharynx, hypopharynx and larynx) account for around 5% of all cancers and are responsible for around 200,000 deaths globally each year. The development of head and neck cancers is strongly linked to tobacco use. Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for nearly 95% of all head and neck cancers and the majority of these express the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) that is associated with aggressive tumour growth and poor clinical outcome. Head and neck cancer is normally treated with high dose radiotherapy in combination with surgery.

These phase III results were based on data from 424 patients (recruited from April 1999 – March 2002) with a median follow-up of 38 months. Patients with loco-regionally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, hypopharynx or larynx were randomised to receive either high-dose radiation alone for 6-7 weeks, or high-dose radiation plus weekly cetuximab. Cetuximab is a monoclonal antibody raised against EGFR. It is thought to work by binding to the EGFR so that epidermal growth factors cannot bind and stimulate the cells to grow. Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated radiosensitisation (enhancing the effect of radiation) with anti-EGFR treatments.

Median survival in the combined treatment arm was 54 months, versus 28 months in the radiotherapy alone arm. At 3 years post-treatment the overall survival benefit of the combined treatment was 57%, compared to 44% in the radiotherapy alone arm. Loco-regional control was also improved by cetuximab with radiotherapy: increasing from 59% – 69% at one year and from 48% – 56% at two years. “This is proof that drugs coming from the laboratory can be used to cure more patients”, said Dr. Giralt.

Overall toxicity resulting from the combined treatment was dominated by recognised side effects of high dose head and neck irradiation e.g. mucositis (inflammation of the mucous membranes) and skin reactions. Treatment with cetuximab and radiotherapy in combination did raise the incidence of grade 3-4 skin reaction from 18% to 34% but the risk of grade 3-4 mucositis remained similar in both treatment arms. Cetuximab also carried a low (3%) risk of allergic reaction. “The substantial clinical benefit of this combination treatment can therefore be achieved with minimal enhancement of the toxicity we would expect to find associated with high dose radiotherapy alone”, explained Dr. Giralt.

“These results are extremely promising and represent a major step forward in the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck,” said Dr. Giralt. “This combination treatment should be explored in other common epithelial malignancies that demonstrate EGFR overexpression in which radiotherapy plays a central role”.

October, 2004|Archive|

NYU Cancer Center Features New System by BSD Medical

  • 10/26/2004
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Press Release
  • BSD Medical Corporation

BSD Medical Corp. today announced that New York University Clinical Cancer Center has installed a new BSD-500 hyperthermia system produced by BSD Medical, Corp. The recently opened Center, which occupies 85,000 square feet between Lexington and Third Avenues in New York City, includes several multidisciplinary specialties for treatment of such cancers as breast and other female cancers, digestive tract, prostate, brain, lung, blood, head and neck, and skin (melanoma). Many of these cancers are applicable for treatment with the BSD-500.

BSD Medical expects more and more leading cancer treatment centers to include hyperthermia therapy as an important component of their treatments for cancer. Clinical trials have shown a significant boost in both tumor control and long-term survival when hyperthermia therapy is combined with radiation therapy. In phase III clinical trials where hyperthermia therapy was added to ionizing radiation treatments, hyperthermia improved local relapse-free survival for head and neck cancer from 24% to 68%, 2-year local control of melanoma from 28% to 46%, complete response for recurrent breast cancer from 38% to 60%, 2-year survival for glioblastoma (brain cancer) from 15% to 31% and 3-year survival for advanced cervical cancer from 27% to 51%, as compared to the use of ionizing radiation therapy alone.

NYU Clinical Cancer Center addresses a growing demand for comprehensive outpatient care, with 85-90 percent of cancer patients treated in an outpatient setting. Dr. Silvia Formenti, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the NYU Medical Center, said, “The new BSD-500 is ideal for outpatient environments. Unlike earlier hyperthermia systems, it is compact, portable and touch screen controlled, with both treatment planning software and treatment monitoring conveniently provided in the same system. We currently have several patients undergoing superficial hyperthermia treatment. In addition, a new research protocol for women who suffer a breast recurrence after segmental mastectomy is undergoing institutional approval. It integrates hyperthermia with re-irradiation of recurrent breast cancers after conservative breast treatment.” She continues: “The recruitment to NYU of Gabor Jozsef, Ph.D., a colleague I collaborated with when we were both at the University of Southern California, has been key to assure the necessary physics expertise to finally build a Hyperthermia Center in Manhattan.”

October, 2004|Archive|

Celecoxib derivatives induce apoptosis

  • 10/26/2004
  • Haiming Ding et al.
  • Int J Cancer, October 21, 2004

Celecoxib derivatives induce apoptosis via the disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential and activation of caspase 9.

Celecoxib is a potent nonsteroid antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) that has shown great promise in cancer chemoprevention and treatment. The tumor suppression activity of celecoxib and other NSAIDs have been related to the induction of apoptosis in many cancer cell lines and animal models. While celecoxib is a specific inhibitor of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, recent data indicate that its apoptotic properties may also be mediated through COX-independent pathways.

In our study, we evaluated second generation celecoxib derivatives, lacking COX-2 inhibitory activity, in a premalignant and malignant human oral cell culture model to determine their potential anticancer effect and mechanisms responsible for the COX-independent apoptotic activity. Celecoxib and its derivatives delayed the progression of cells through the G(2)/M phase and induced apoptosis. The derivatives with apolar substituents at the terminal phenyl moiety of celecoxib greatly enhanced apoptosis and cell cycle delay. Apoptosis and cell cycle arrest appeared to be independent of derivative induced inhibition of PDK1 and phosphorylation of Akt and Erk1/2. Derivatives induced apoptosis was mediated by the cleavage and activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3, but not caspase 8, implicating the mitochondrial pathway for apoptosis induction. Inhibitors of caspase-3 and caspase-9 and cyclosporin A, a mitochondrial membrane potential stabilizer, attenuated derivative induced apoptosis. Inhibition of caspase-3 prevented the activation of caspase 8, while the inhibition of caspase-9 inhibitor blocked activation of both caspase 3 and 8 by the derivatives. Apoptosis was independent of Bcl-2.

These results indicate that the second generation celecoxib derivatives induce apoptosis in human oral cancer lines by the disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential activating caspase 9 and downstream caspase 3 and 8. This suggests that the modification of the celecoxib structure can lead to highly effective COX-independent growth inhibitory and apoptotic agents in chemoprevention and therapy.

Authors:
Haiming Ding, Chunhua Han, Jiuxiang Zhu, Ching-Shih Chen, and Steven M D’Ambrosio
Department of Radiology, College of Medicine and Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

October, 2004|Archive|

Interventions for preventing oral candidiasis for patients with cancer receiving treatment

  • 10/26/2004
  • H Worthington, O Eden, and J Clarkson
  • Cochrane Database Syst Rev, January 1, 2004; (4): CD003807

Background:
Treatment of cancer is increasingly more effective but is associated with short and long term side effects. Oral side effects remain a major source of illness despite the use of a variety of agents to prevent and treat them. One of these side effects is oral candidiasis.

Objectives:
To assess the effectiveness of interventions (which may include placebo or no treatment) for the prevention of oral candidiasis for patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

Search Strategy:
Electronic databases: Cochrane Oral Health Group’s Trials Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, MEDLINE Pre-indexed, EMBASE, CINAHL, CANCERLIT, SIGLE and LILACS were searched. Date of the most recent searches April 2004 (CENTRAL Issue 2, 2004).

Selection Criteria:
Trials were selected if they met the following criteria:
design – random allocation of participants;
participants – anyone receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment for cancer;
interventions – agents prescribed to prevent oral candidiasis; primary outcome – prevention of oral candidiasis.

Data Collection and Analysis:
Data were recorded on the following secondary outcomes if present: relief of pain, amount of analgesia, relief of dysphagia, incidence of systemic infection, duration of stay in hospital (days), cost of oral care, patient quality of life, death, use of empirical antifungal treatment, toxicity and compliance.Information regarding methods, participants, interventions, outcome measures and results were independently extracted, in duplicate, by two reviewers (HW & JC). The Cochrane Oral Health Group statistical guidelines were followed and relative risk values calculated using random effects models. Potential sources of heterogeneity were examined in random effects metaregression analyses.

Main Results:
Twenty-eight trials involving 4226 patients satisfied the inclusion criteria. Drugs absorbed and partially absorbed from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract were found to prevent oral candidiasis when compared to a placebo, or a no treatment control group, with RR for absorbed drugs = 0.47 (95% CI 0.29 to 0.78). For absorbed drugs in populations with an incidence of 20% (mid range of results in control groups), this implies a NNT of 9 (95% CI 7 to 13) patients need to be treated to avoid one patient getting oral candidiasis. There was no significant benefit shown for drugs not absorbed from the GI tract.

Reviewers’ Conclusions:
There is strong evidence, from randomised controlled trials, that drugs absorbed or partially absorbed from the GI tract prevent oral candidiasis in patients receiving treatment for cancer. There is also evidence that these drugs are significantly better at preventing oral candidiasis than drugs not absorbed from the GI.

October, 2004|Archive|

The american dental association’s oral cancer campaign: the impact on consumers and dentists

  • 10/26/2004
  • S Stahl, LH Meskin, and LJ Brown
  • J Am Dent Assoc, September 1, 2004; 135(9): 1261-7

Background:
The ADA conducted a public service campaign in late 2001 to raise awareness of oral cancer and of the dentist’s role in early detection.

Methods:
To gather information about the impact of this campaign, the ADA undertook two surveys. A telephone survey was conducted among 1,270 adult consumers, and a second survey was mailed to a national sample of 2,500 dentists.

Results:
The majority of the consumers did not recognize the fact that dentists are responsible for examining their patients for oral cancer and that oral cancer claims more lives than melanoma or cervical cancer. The majority of dentists was aware of the ADA campaign and agreed that it helped raise the public’s awareness of oral cancer and the importance of early detection. As a result, more dentists said that they are likely to educate their patients about early detection, adjust their own practice routines to include discussion about the disease, and look more closely for small oral lesions and test them with the brush biopsy test.

Conclusions:
The results of the survey of dentists demonstrated that the oral cancer awareness initiative sponsored by the ADA resulted in positive behavioral changes targeted toward the early detection of oral cancer.

Clinical Implications:
Continued efforts to provide health education and health promotion interventions aimed at consumers and dentists invariably will result in the detection of oral cancers at early and curable stages.

October, 2004|Archive|

Oxigene Drug Reduces Tumor Blood Flow

  • 10/25/2004
  • no attribution
  • Forbes.com

Pharmaceutical company Oxigene Inc. reported Monday that researchers found one of its cancer drugs significantly reduced blood flow to tumors in lung cancer patients in an early stage clinical trial.

The company said researchers found that eight patients with inoperable non-small cell lung cancer had reduced blood flow to their tumors four hours after being treated with the drug candidate Combretastatin A4P, or CA4P. Researchers confirmed that the blood flow to the tumors had not recovered after 72 hours, the company said.

Oxigene said that researchers will be enrolling patients with prostate cancer and head and neck cancer in early stage clinical trials to study the effects of CA4P through early next year, with mid-stage clinical trials to follow.

CA4P belongs to a class of drugs called vascular targeting agents, which restrict blood flow to solid tumors by attacking the vessels that feed them.

The company also is studying the drug in early- and mid-stage clinical trials to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, a condition where abnormal and leaky blood vessels grow in front of the retina and cause blindness.

October, 2004|Archive|