Monthly Archives: September 2008

Eating walnuts slows cancer growth, laboratory study finds

Source: news.biocompare.com
Author: staff

Snack-sized quantities of walnuts slow cancer growth in mice, reports a Marshall University pilot study published in the current issue of the peer-reviewed journal Nutrition and Cancer. Researcher W. Elaine Hardman, Ph.D., of Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine said the study was designed to determine whether mice that got part of their calories by eating walnuts had slower breast cancer growth than a group eating a diet more typical of the American diet.

“When we fed the mice the walnuts, the growth rate of the tumors they had was dramatically suppressed,” Hardman said.

The mice ate a diet in which 18.5 percent of the daily calories — the equivalent of two servings for humans — came from walnuts. Tumors in the walnut-fed group took twice as long to double in size as tumors in the control group, the article reports. The study is believed to be the first to look at the impact of walnut consumption on cancer growth.

“It’s always very good to find something that will slow the growth of tumors without being toxic chemotherapy,” said Hardman, who has spent 15 years studying the role of diet in cancer.

Walnuts have at least three components that could account for their cancer-slowing effect, Hardman said. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to slow cancer growth. They also include antioxidants and components called phytosterols, both of which have shown cancer-slowing effects in other studies.

While the pilot study was only designed to determine whether — not why — walnuts had a tumor-suppressing effect, Hardman said research as a whole is suggesting that Americans need to get more of their fat calories from fats rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fewer fat calories from saturated fat or foods high in omega-6 fatty acids.

In addition to walnuts, other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish and canola and flaxseed oils, she said. Medicine is increasingly looking at dietary changes as a way to reduce cancer, Hardman said.

“We’re beginning to understand that your diet probably contributes to one-third to two-thirds of all cancers that develop, and making dietary changes to prevent cancer could do more to reduce the deaths from cancer than chemotherapy to treat cancer,” she said.

“Changing our habits to reduce our risk not only of cancer but also of other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, could reduce our health costs that are eating us up and provide better lives for a lot of people,” she said. “I think in the future — and probably the near future — our diet, and making dietary changes, is going to become the biggest weapon for fighting cancer.”

The project was funded through grants from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the California Walnut Commission, neither of which had input on the interpretation or reporting of the findings.

Original Source: Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

September, 2008|Oral Cancer News|

New findings show cancer prevention effects of black raspberries, blueberries, olive leaves and green tea

Source: www.naturalnews.com
Author: David Gutierrez

Three studies presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Sixth Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research in Philadelphia have demonstrated the powerful cancer-fighting benefits of dark berries, green tea and olive leaves, and suggest that gels and beverages may some day be used to prevent against cancer and tumor growth.

In the first study, researchers from Ohio State University discovered that a gel based on freeze-dried black raspberries helps prevent precancerous mouth tumors (lesions) from becoming malignant.

“This gel appears to be a valid means of delivering anthocyanins and other cancer-preventing compounds directly to precancerous cells, since it slowed or reduced lesion progression in about two-thirds of study participants,” said researcher Susan Mallery.

According to the American Cancer Society, oral squamous cell carcinoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, causing 7,500 deaths each year in the United States. Because no chemopreventive agent or treatment method other than radical mouth surgery exists, even those who survive the cancer often emerge significantly disfigured. And even in many cases where tumors are fully removed, they still recur.

“Oral cancer is a debilitating disease and there is a desperate need for early detection and management of precancerous lesions,” said Mallery.

Most mouth cancer begins as small, noncancerous lesions in the mouth that are difficult to detect. It was these lesions that were treated in the Ohio State University study.

Researchers carried out the study on 20 participants who had identifiable precancerous mouth lesions and 10 who were healthy to constitute a control group. Both groups were instructed to dry the sites of their lesions gently, or to dry a predetermined site in the control group. The black raspberry gel was then rubbed into the area after each meal and before bed, for a total of four applications daily.

The gel, made of 10 percent freeze-dried black raspberries, looks like jam, but does not contain the sugars that give berries their sweet taste.

After six weeks, a microscopic diagnosis of the lesions in the precancerous patients showed that 35 percent had improved, 45 percent had stabilized and 20 percent had worsened. No side effects were observed in either the experimental or control group.

Researchers also collected cell samples from participants’ mouth lesions both before and after treatment. Before the treatment, the lesions showed elevated levels of two proteins, COX-2 and iNOS, that have been associated with increased inflammation and risk of malignancy. After treatment, the levels of these proteins decreased significantly.

In addition, many cells exhibited a genetic condition before treatment known as “loss of heterozygosity,” in which a cell has lost one copy of a tumor-suppressing gene, leaving it with only one remaining copy. This condition greatly increases the chance that a cell will become cancerous, should the last copy of the tumor-suppressing gene be turned off for some reason or lost through mutation. After the treatment, however, many of the cells in the lesion sites were found to have regained a second copy of the gene.

“We speculate that the chemopreventive compounds in black raspberries assist in modulating cell growth by promoting programmed cell death or terminal differentiation, two mechanisms that help “reeducate” precancerous cells,” Mallery said.

The researchers believe that much of the cancer-preventive effect of black raspberries can be attributed to naturally occurring plant chemicals called anthocyanins.

“Black raspberries are full of anthocyanins, potent antioxidants that give the berries their rich, dark color, and our findings show these compounds have a role in silencing cancerous cells,” Mallery said.

In another study presented at the same conference, researchers from Rutgers University found that an extract of green tea may help prevent against the growth of colorectal tumors.

Researchers first induced colorectal cancer in mice with a toxin, azoxymethane, which is believed to cause mice to develop tumors similar to those found in human colorectal cancer. All of the rats were then placed on a high-fat diet intended to simulate a typical Western diet. In addition to this food, half of the rats were also given a 0.24 percent solution of Polyphenon E, a standardized green tea extract.

Polyphenon E contains four of the major polyphenols that occur in green tea. Sixty-five percent of the polyphenol concentration of the extract is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is believed to be the most active ingredient. Prior studies have shown that EGCG helps prevent the skin from the tumor-inducing effects of ultraviolet radiation.

After 34 weeks, the rats that had been given the green tea extract developed 55 percent fewer tumors than the rats on the high-fat diet alone. In addition, the treated rats had tumors that were 45 percent smaller and were less likely to be malignant. They also weighed approximately 5 percent less than the rats that had not been treated with the extract. Tests of the treated rats’ blood and colorectal mucosa showed detectable concentrations of green tea polyphenols.

Green tea polyphenols are also believed to block the body’s ability to absorb fats.

The researchers said that the amount of polyphenols used in the test could probably be achieved simply by drinking green tea.

“When you account for caloric consumption, 0.24 percent Polyphenon E in the diet gave the experimental rats the equivalent of about four to six cups of tea a day,” said researcher Hang Xiao. “While I can’t make any recommendations for how much green tea people should drink each day, it isn’t uncommon for some to drink that much tea.”

In the third study, researchers from the University of Sydney, Australia, found that a commercially available berry drink inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells.

The drink, marketed as Blueberry Punch, contains a combination of extracts from blueberries, elderberries, red grapes, raspberries, grape skin, grape seed, citrus skin, green tea, olive leaf, olive pulp, tarragon, turmeric and ginger. The researchers tested each of these ingredients individually, and confirmed that all of them are antioxidants that effectively suppress the growth of cancerous cells in laboratory tests.

In order to determine how the effectiveness of a combination of the antioxidants compare with the sum of the individual ingredients, the researchers first exposed prostate cancer cells in the laboratory to increasing concentrations of Blueberry Punch. After 72 hours, the size and viability of the cells decreased relative to the dose of punch they had been given.

The researchers then tested the punch on mice that had been induced to develop prostate tumors similar to those found in humans. After two weeks, mice that had been consuming a 10 percent solution of Blueberry Punch had tumors 25 percent smaller than those in mice that had not been given the beverage.

Among the potential mechanisms of action for the beverage, the researchers cited the inhibition of inflammation and the inhibition of a protein called cyclin D1, which has been an observed effect of EGCG.

Because Blueberry Punch is a food product and not a drug, the researchers believe that there should be no health side effects to its use, excepting only people who have a food allergy to one or more of the ingredients. They hope to move on to trials in humans with prostate cancer.

“The evidence we have provided suggests that this product could be therapeutic,” said researcher Jas Singh.

September, 2008|Oral Cancer News|

Knicks Prez Donnie Walsh had oral cancer surgery soon after draft

Source: www.pacersdigest.com
Author: Peter Vecsey

Donnie Walsh asked me not to make a big deal of this when I requested permission to break the news . . . so I won’t . . . though, I’m sure we all agree, it is a big deal.

Four days after last June’s draft, the Knicks’ president, 67, entered Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and went under the knife for one hour. An uncontrollable 50-year urge to smoke vanished along with the cancerous part of his tongue.

“My doctor says he got it all,” Walsh said. “Luckily, it was caught quickly before it could spread. Numerous pre- and post-op scans of his head and neck concurred it had been contained.

Physically, Walsh is almost back to normal. His mouth remains a little numb and his speech only betrays him when a conversation becomes lengthy.

“It’s like I have marbles in my mouth. But you can’t really tell there’s something missing unless I stick out my tongue.”

“Spare me,” I promptly replied, “I’ll take your word for it.

“Something tells me your French kissing days may be over.”

Consensual gallows humor between New Yorkers who’ve been friends for almost half their adult lives is not only expected but required. Anything to lighten his psychological load is licensed; Donnie’s stare down with mortality admittedly shook him up like the grade-school nuns who habitually harped on the Hereafter.

Two of Donnie’s closest college buddies died in the past three years. Additionally, an inordinately large percentage of his Fordham Prep graduation class has passed away. When informed he had cancer following a routine exam (he experienced no symptoms) upon joining the Knicks, he figured, “Oh, (bleep), now it’s my turn!”

At that edifying moment in early-to-mid June, Walsh promised himself, “If they have to cut my tongue out I’m going to leave New York without telling anybody, fly home to Indianapolis, go straight to my backyard and never come off the property again.”

For the next two weeks, as a succession of tests was conducted and unchained torment messed with his mind, Walsh somehow conducted business as usual:

Following anguished deliberation, Mike D’Antoni was chosen over Mark Jackson to be head coach; there was a proliferation of trade talk that nearly resulted in the Knicks getting a second first round (No. 5) pick; and a procession of prospects were scrutinized before Danilo Gallinari barely edged West Virginia’s Joe Alexander (“I am the strongest man in the draft and I will be the strongest man in the NBA”) and was selected sixth.

The draft was Thursday, June 26. Walsh presided over a press conference the next day. Seventy-two hours later he was out of surgery (“I had one last cigarette that weekend”) with almost his whole tongue intact. Months afterward very few people know anything about his ordeal.

This comes as no surprise, of course, when you consider Walsh kept his somber secret from his wife – we’re talking two to three weeks – until it was practically tip-off for his operation and she barely had time to pack and get to New York from Indiana.

“Judy and I have been married 45 years and sweethearts for 50. I know how stressed out I was. I just didn’t want to worry her,” he explained.

Meanwhile, despite those positive reports, many of Walsh’s friends are worried his long-distance relationship with his wife is making him miserable. Donnie lives by his lonesome in an uptown high rise whereas. Judy cares for their Indy home and two treasured Bouvier dogs.

Walsh doesn’t disagree. “I’m OK during the day when I’m working, you know, just thinking and talking basketball. But when I get home all I do is watch TV in a big freakin’ room. I’m sick all-right, sick of watching TV.”

There’s no getting away from it; Donnie misses his wife and his dogs terribly. “Every night on my way home I see people walking their small dogs and I’m jealous. My dogs never cared whether my team won or lost. Either way I’d sit on my chair and they’d lick my face.”

Not so long ago, Donnie went back to Indy for a three-day weekend. When Judy and Donnie are in their home together they don’t speak all that much. She does her thing, he does his.

“What’s important is I know you’re there,” Donnie told Judy during that last visit. “I can’t tell you what it feels like when you’re not there.”

September, 2008|Oral Cancer News|

Sanofi Pasteur MSD’s HPV vaccine Gardasil(R) wins Prix Galien award

Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com
Author: staff

The two HPV vaccines currently licensed for use in the UK were jointly awarded the coveted Prix Galien Medal for Innovation at a ceremony held on Wednesday evening in the Palace of Westminster, House of Commons.

“We are absolutely delighted at the recognition given to the world’s leading HPV vaccine Gardasil® – this award reflects the work of many people, all around the world, involved in making the dream of a cancer vaccine a reality”, said Dr Nicholas Kitchin, Medical Director, accepting the award on behalf of the Sanofi Pasteur MSD team.

“Both companies have developed the technology of HPV vaccines down different paths,” he continued, “we chose a quadrivalent vaccine strategy, targeting a broader range of HPV-related genital disease than cervical cancer alone, with the aim of delivering additional benefits for patients and healthcare systems.”

The joint award for the two HPV vaccines, developed by Sanofi Pasteur MSD and GSK, was presented by Andrew Lansley CBE MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health. The distinguished panel of seven judges, chaired by Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, selected the HPV vaccines as the winners from seven innovative products that reached the final.

Vaccines have won in four of the last five Prix Galien awards and the UK award for Gardasil® follows similar success in Prix Galien competitions in the USA and France.

Current experience with the four-type HPV vaccine

Thirty years after the discovery that human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer, 15 years after the start of vaccine development and two years after the approval of the four-type (6,11,16,18) HPV vaccine Gardasil®, vaccination to prevent cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases has been widely implemented.

Gardasil® is approved in more than 100 countries around the world. Thirty million doses distributed worldwide demonstrate strong endorsement by medical professionals, regulatory agencies, health authorities and physicians as well as mothers and daughters.

HPV vaccination is recommended in 18 out of the 19 European countries – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom – in which Sanofi Pasteur MSD markets Gardasil®. The vaccine is funded, or soon to be funded, in 15 of these. It is also recommended and funded in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Indication of Gardasil®

Gardasil® (Human Papillomavirus Vaccine [Types 6, 11, 16, 18] (Recombinant, adsorbed)) is a vaccine for the prevention of premalignant genital lesions (cervical, vulvar and vaginal), cervical cancer and external genital warts (condyloma acuminata) causally related to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16 and 18. The indication is based on the demonstration of efficacy of Gardasil® in adult females 16 to 26 years of age and on the demonstration of immunogenicity of Gardasil in 9- to 15-year old children and adolescents. Protective efficacy has not been evaluated in males. The use of Gardasil® should be in accordance with official recommendations.

About Sanofi Pasteur MSD

Sanofi Pasteur MSD is a joint venture between sanofi pasteur, the vaccine division of sanofi-aventis, and Merck & Co., Inc. Combining innovation and expertise, Sanofi Pasteur MSD is dedicated exclusively to vaccines. Sanofi Pasteur MSD is able to draw on the research expertise of sanofi pasteur and Merck & Co., Inc., together with their teams throughout the world, to focus on the development of new vaccines for Europe, which aim to extend protection to other diseases and perfect existing vaccines in order to improve the acceptability, efficacy and tolerability of vaccination.

Sanofi Pasteur MSD is the only European company dedicated exclusively to vaccines

September, 2008|Oral Cancer News|

HPV increases men’s risk for oral cancer, prompts calls for vaccine: pathology expert Dr. Shashi Pawar on HPV health concerns for men

Source: www.prweb.com
Author: press release

HPV, the human papillomavirus, is well known for its role in causing cervical cancer in women – so much so, in fact, that the National Institutes of Health recommend all girls be vaccinated against the virus when they are 11 or 12, prior to becoming sexually active. However, recent research shows that women are not the only ones at risk for developing HPV-related cancers. Oral cancers caused by the virus are increasing rapidly in men, and researchers suggest HPV may soon overtake tobacco use as the leading cause of these cancers of the mouth, tongue, throat and tonsils.

“The human papillomavirus is one of the most insidious and dangerous sexually transmitted diseases for women, as it has been linked to a vast majority of cervical cancers,” explains Dr. Shashi Pawar, PhD, FACMG, Director of Genetics at Acupath Laboratories. “We are now seeing the effects of HPV infection in men, and the marked increase in oral cancer – coupled with the well-known increased risk for penile and anal cancers – suggests that both sexes face equally serious health consequences from this virus,” Dr. Pawar notes.

Cumulative research spurs call for men’s vaccine
A benchmark study that tracked more than 30 years of oral cancer data from the National Cancer Institute found that the rate of oral cancer caused by the HPV virus, rather than lifestyle habits such as smoking or chewing tobacco, has risen steadily since 1973 and is now about even with the incidence rate for tobacco use. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, which conducted the study, reviewed more than 46,000 cases of oral cancer diagnosed between 1973 and 2004, and concluded that HPV is poised to overtake tobacco use as the leading cause of oral cancer in men.

“While researchers have not yet definitively concluded the cause in this shift, many in the medical community theorize that the convergence of two factors is to blame,” Dr. Pawar points out. “The first is a decrease in tobacco use, and the second is a broadening of sexuality and sexual behaviors. Many couples, particularly younger couples, are more apt to experiment with oral sex; ironically, men and women may believe that this is actually safer than penetration in avoiding the spread of sexually transmitted diseases,” Dr. Pawar adds.

Other studies reinforce, and even surpass, the NCI research. A study published in May in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reported the risk of developing HPV-related oral cancer for men and women who had multiple oral sex partners (six or more) was nine times that of participants who had no oral sex partners. What’s more, those who were infected with HPV were 32 times more likely to develop oral cancer than uninfected participants, while those who smoked had only a threefold increased risk, and those who drank alcohol had only a 2.5 times greater risk.

“Because the confluence of data continues to confirm, and even expand, the belief that HPV infection is just as dangerous for men as it is for women, the call for vaccinating boys against this virus has become more vocal in recent months,” Dr. Pawar explains. Merck, the makers of the vaccine (Gardasil) used to protect girls against the virus, has recently requested permission from the FDA to begin marketing the vaccine for male patients later this year.

Early detection key to survival
Nearly 29,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Of those, about 19,000 are in men, and researchers estimate approximately 40% — nearly 8,000 – involve HPV infection. The good news is that most oral cancers respond successfully to chemotherapy and radiation regimens when diagnosed and treated in their earliest stages. Yet, many cases are not caught early enough, or are misdiagnosed – leading to improper or delayed treatment.

“The most accurate test to confirm a diagnosis of HPV infection is called In Situ Hybridization, or ISH,” Dr. Pawar notes, concluding. “In studies comparing ISH to Hybrid Capture (HC) or polymerase chain reaction tests, ISH was found to be nearly three times more accurate.”

About Dr. Shashi Pawar, PhD, DABMG
With over twenty years of varied experience in molecular genetics and molecular pathology, Dr. Shashi Pawar serves as the director of Genetics at the Acupath Laboratories, Inc. She is American board of medical genetics certified in clinical Molecular genetics and clinical Cytogenetics. Additionally, she has published in dozens of highly acclaimed medical journals and publications, including the Proceedings of National Academy of Science and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. At Acupath laboratories Inc. Dr. Pawar implements cutting edge technology in molecular diagnostics to bring clinical diagnostics tests within easy reach of the Physicians and patients.

About Acupath
Acupath Laboratories, Inc. is an innovative national specialty medical laboratory located twenty miles east of Manhattan in Plainview NY. Acupath’s reputation is built on the foundation of our nationally recognized board certified pathologists, molecular geneticists, and cytogeneticists leaders in their fields; many have sub-specialty certification. Acupath performs only pathology, molecular and cytogenetic exams; ensuring the highest standards in the industry. www.acupath.com

September, 2008|Oral Cancer News|

Smoking impact images to appear on cigarette packs

Source: www.politics.co.uk
Author: staff

The government wants to shock smokers into quitting by putting graphic pictures of the damage caused by smoking on cigarette packs.

From Wednesday picture warnings will begin replacing the written warnings currently on packets in a bid to improve on the 1.9 million fewer smokers seen since 1982.

The new images show rotting teeth and lungs, throat cancer and a ‘flaccid cigarette’ – the “grim reality” of the effects smoking can have on health, as chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson says.

“These new stark picture warnings emphasise the harsh health realities of continuing to smoke. I hope they will make many more think hard about giving up, and get the help they need to stop smoking for good.”

Britain is not the first country to use graphic warnings: Canada introduced them in 2001 and saw 31 per cent of ex-smokers claiming the pictures had motivated them to quit.

Anti-smoking campaigners have welcomed the images, which come into force from October 1st. Action on Smoking and Health’s (Ash) director Deborah Arnott backed existing evidence suggesting the images make smokers quit.

And she called on the government to legislate to require the removal of pack branding to maximise their impact, as research shows this has the greatest impact.

Cancer Research UK’s head of tobacco control, Elspeth Lee, said her organisation would back an amendment to current EU legislation allowing picture warnings to be placed on the front as well as the back of packs, as in Australia and New Zealand.

“The harsh reality is that half of all long term smokers will die from this deadly addiction,” she said.

“Attractive branding has no place in selling these products.”

All cigarette packs will carry the images by September 30th 2009, the last date of compliance.

September, 2008|Oral Cancer News|

Selective neck dissection effective for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with regional metastases

Source: www.docguide.com
Author: Mary Beth Nierengarten

Selective neck dissection, rather than comprehensive neck dissection, is an effective treatment for many patients with regional nodal metastases from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, investigators reported here at the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) 2008 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO.

Lead author Peter Shepard, MD, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison, Wisconsin, presented the study findings in a poster session on September 21.

In their study, Dr. Shepard and colleagues retrospectively evaluated 156 patients with clinically-positive regional nodal metastases from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in whom neck dissection was part of the initial treatment. Of the 156 patients, 69 underwent selective neck dissection (SND) and 87 underwent radical or modified radical neck dissection (R/MRND). Most patients (81%) also received postoperative radiotherapy.

Overall, regional recurrences occurred in 8.6% of patients who underwent SND and 22% of patients who underwent R/MRND.

When adjusting for differences in nodal and primary tumour stage, year of surgery, primary tumour site, extracapsular spread, and postoperative radiotherapy, multivariate analysis showed a significantly lower regional recurrence rate in the SND group (P = .02).

No statistically significant differences were seen in overall survival; 5-year overall survival for SND and R/MRND of 47% and 33%, respectively (P = .14). Similarly, no significant differences were found in local control or distant local control, with 3-year local control rates of 87% and 83% (P = .89) and distant control rates of 79% and 74% (P = .30).

Although Dr. Shepard said the study is limited by the lack of randomisation as well as differences in group characteristics, he emphasised that these differences were adjusted for by performing a multivariate analysis.

Despite these limitations, Dr. Shepard said that “selective neck dissection is an effective treatment for a wide variety of patients with clinical regional nodal metastasis staged N1 or N2.”

He also pointed out that although most centres usually perform selective neck dissections, “the current National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines still list comprehensive neck dissections as the surgical treatment of choice in the setting of regional nodal metastases.”

“Our study demonstrates that patients who underwent selective neck dissection for clinically positive, regional nodal metastasis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma had a low regional recurrence rate that was better than those who underwent comprehensive neck dissection,” Dr. Shepard concluded. “None of the regional recurrences were in a level that was preserved or would have been included in a comprehensive neck dissection.”

Notes:
1. Presentation title: Therapeutic Selective Neck Dissection Outcomes. Poster S174
2. presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) 2008 Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL

September, 2008|Oral Cancer News|

Improvements for patients with oral mucositis

Source: cancerfocus.net
Author: staff

New data show that Caphosol® (www.caphosol.com), an advanced electrolyte solution, significantly limits the occurrence and severity of oral mucositis (OM) in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The data, which contain the final results from a prospective observational study sponsored by EUSA Pharma, were presented today at the 50th annual meeting of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO), and demonstrate that Caphosol use is associated with high levels of medication compliance and patient and physician satisfaction.

The latest findings expand upon the growing body of evidence of the benefits of Caphosol in the management of OM and related symptoms in patients with various types of cancer.

“Oral mucositis is a common, debilitating side effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, resulting from erosion of epithelial cells in the oral cavity (cells lining the surface of the throat and esophagus) during therapy,” said principal investigator Marilyn L. Haas, PhD, RN, CNS, ANP-C, Nurse Practitioner, Carolina Clinical Consultant. “Patients with oral mucositis often experience severe pain, difficulty eating and swallowing, and greater susceptibility to infection. The registry data suggests that CAPHOSOL, a supersaturated electrolyte oral rinse, has a significant positive impact on the occurrence and severity of oral mucositis, and is highly regarded by patients and physicians.”

Dr. Haas and colleagues reported data from 68 patients with head and neck (HN) cancer enrolled in an open-label, observational registry maintained at 26 treatment centers in the U.S. The patients were considered at high risk of developing OM based on the nature of the cancer treatments they received. Most of the patients were Caucasian (85 percent) and male (74 percent). Twenty-two percent of the patients were receiving radiation therapy, 12 percent were receiving chemotherapy, and 66 percent were receiving the two types of therapy in combination. All patients in the study received CAPHOSOL, administered as an oral rinse, four to 10 times daily for 8 weeks for radiation therapy or 2 cycles if receiving chemotherapy, beginning on the first day of either treatment.

Caphosol treatment was associated with low rates of OM. Thirteen percent of the patients did not develop OM, 36 percent had Grade 1 (mild) OM and 33 percent had Grade 2 (moderate) disease. Only 16 percent and two percent of the patients experienced Grades 3 (severe) and 4 (life-threatening or disabling) OM, respectively.

Caphosol use also appeared to benefit patients in terms of incidence of oral pain and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Grades 2 (moderate) and 3 (severe) pain were experienced by 38 percent and 18 percent of patients, respectively, with no Grade 4 (disabling) pain reported. Nearly half (46 percent) of the patients did not require opioid pain medication at Week 3 of the study, and more than one-third (36 percent) did not require opioids at Week 8. No dysphagia was reported in 18 percent of the study participants; those who experienced dysphagia had Grade 1 (mild, 21 percent), Grade 2 (moderate, 36 percent) or Grade 3 (severe, 25 percent), with no Grade 4 (disabling) dysphagia reported.

Compliance with Caphosol was very high. Nearly all (96 percent) patients rinsed with Caphosol at least once daily, and 76 percent rinsed four or more times daily. Notably, only four patients (7 percent) experienced an interruption in treatment due to OM, with none of these interruptions lasting longer than seven days. Only two patients discontinued Caphosol treatment, one due to an aversion to the taste and the other due to an increase in the level of pre-existing nausea.

High levels of patient satisfaction were reported among Caphosol users: 79 percent described themselves as “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with this treatment. Similarly, 78 percent of physicians characterized the results with Caphosol as satisfactory or better.

“Most patients treated for head and neck cancer develop oral mucositis, a complication that can cause severe pain and diminished quality of life,” said Dr. Haas. “The results of the present study, in which rates of oral mucositis, oral pain and dysphagia were generally of mild to moderate severity, are therefore very encouraging, as are the high ratings of compliance and patient and physician satisfaction with Caphosol treatment.”

The estimated incidence of OM among patients with cancers of the head or neck receiving radiation therapy involving the oral cavity is 97%. Severe (grade ¾) OM is a frequent complication.

Oral Mucositis: A Common and Debilitating Condition
Oral complications including mucositis and salivary gland dysfunction are common and often debilitating side effects of cancer therapy. OM is estimated to affect more than 400,000 cancer patients each year. OM affects approximately 40 percent of cancer patients who receive chemotherapy, more than 70 percent of those undergoing conditioning therapy for bone marrow transplantation, and virtually all patients receiving radiation therapy for head and neck cancer.

From the initiation of cancer therapy, breakdowns begin to occur below the surface of the skin in the mouth (oral mucosa). Visible signs of oral mucositis can usually be seen within seven to 14 days after initiation of therapy. Initial signs and symptoms include redness, swelling and ulceration of the mucosa. Oral mucositis can cause mouth pain, xerostomia (dryness of the mouth or throat), difficulty eating and drinking, as well as difficulty with speech; these effects can significantly impact a patient’s weight, mood and physical functioning. Severe ulceration may cause breaks in the mucosa, which can then become susceptible to oral opportunistic infections, possibly resulting in bacteremia (the presence of bacteria in the blood), sepsis (the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in the blood) or other potentially fatal complications. The economic impact of mucositis can be significant, as the need for prolonged hospital stays, nutritional therapy and treatments for pain and infection can drive up the costs of therapy.

September, 2008|Oral Cancer News|

HPV increases men’s risk for oral cancer, prompts calls for vaccine: pathology expert Dr. Shashi Pawar on HPV health concerns for men

Source: www.prweb.com
Author: press release

HPV, the human papillomavirus, is well known for its role in causing cervical cancer in women – so much so, in fact, that the National Institutes of Health recommend all girls be vaccinated against the virus when they are 11 or 12, prior to becoming sexually active. However, recent research shows that women are not the only ones at risk for developing HPV-related cancers. Oral cancers caused by the virus are increasing rapidly in men, and researchers suggest HPV may soon overtake tobacco use as the leading cause of these cancers of the mouth, tongue, throat and tonsils.

“The human papillomavirus is one of the most insidious and dangerous sexually transmitted diseases for women, as it has been linked to a vast majority of cervical cancers,” explains Dr. Shashi Pawar, PhD, FACMG, Director of Genetics at Acupath Laboratories. “We are now seeing the effects of HPV infection in men, and the marked increase in oral cancer – coupled with the well-known increased risk for penile and anal cancers – suggests that both sexes face equally serious health consequences from this virus,” Dr. Pawar notes.

Cumulative research spurs call for men’s vaccine
A benchmark study that tracked more than 30 years of oral cancer data from the National Cancer Institute found that the rate of oral cancer caused by the HPV virus, rather than lifestyle habits such as smoking or chewing tobacco, has risen steadily since 1973 and is now about even with the incidence rate for tobacco use. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, which conducted the study, reviewed more than 46,000 cases of oral cancer diagnosed between 1973 and 2004, and concluded that HPV is poised to overtake tobacco use as the leading cause of oral cancer in men.

“While researchers have not yet definitively concluded the cause in this shift, many in the medical community theorize that the convergence of two factors is to blame,” Dr. Pawar points out. “The first is a decrease in tobacco use, and the second is a broadening of sexuality and sexual behaviors. Many couples, particularly younger couples, are more apt to experiment with oral sex; ironically, men and women may believe that this is actually safer than penetration in avoiding the spread of sexually transmitted diseases,” Dr. Pawar adds.

Other studies reinforce, and even surpass, the NCI research. A study published in May in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reported the risk of developing HPV-related oral cancer for men and women who had multiple oral sex partners (six or more) was nine times that of participants who had no oral sex partners. What’s more, those who were infected with HPV were 32 times more likely to develop oral cancer than uninfected participants, while those who smoked had only a threefold increased risk, and those who drank alcohol had only a 2.5 times greater risk.

“Because the confluence of data continues to confirm, and even expand, the belief that HPV infection is just as dangerous for men as it is for women, the call for vaccinating boys against this virus has become more vocal in recent months,” Dr. Pawar explains. Merck, the makers of the vaccine (Gardasil) used to protect girls against the virus, has recently requested permission from the FDA to begin marketing the vaccine for male patients later this year.

Early detection key to survival
Nearly 29,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Of those, about 19,000 are in men, and researchers estimate approximately 40% — nearly 8,000 – involve HPV infection. The good news is that most oral cancers respond successfully to chemotherapy and radiation regimens when diagnosed and treated in their earliest stages. Yet, many cases are not caught early enough, or are misdiagnosed – leading to improper or delayed treatment.

“The most accurate test to confirm a diagnosis of HPV infection is called In Situ Hybridization, or ISH,” Dr. Pawar notes, concluding. “In studies comparing ISH to Hybrid Capture (HC) or polymerase chain reaction tests, ISH was found to be nearly three times more accurate.”

About Dr. Shashi Pawar, PhD, DABMG
With over twenty years of varied experience in molecular genetics and molecular pathology, Dr. Shashi Pawar serves as the director of Genetics at the Acupath Laboratories, Inc. She is American board of medical genetics certified in clinical Molecular genetics and clinical Cytogenetics. Additionally, she has published in dozens of highly acclaimed medical journals and publications, including the Proceedings of National Academy of Science and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. At Acupath laboratories Inc. Dr. Pawar implements cutting edge technology in molecular diagnostics to bring clinical diagnostics tests within easy reach of the Physicians and patients.

About Acupath:
Acupath Laboratories, Inc. is an innovative national specialty medical laboratory located twenty miles east of Manhattan in Plainview NY. Acupath’s reputation is built on the foundation of our nationally recognized board certified pathologists, molecular geneticists, and cytogeneticists leaders in their fields; many have sub-specialty certification. Acupath performs only pathology, molecular and cytogenetic exams; ensuring the highest standards in the industry. www.acupath.com

Note:
OCF was the first organization to contact the FDA and ask for the vaccine currently used in girls to prevent cervical cancer to be used in young boys as well. We have been sponsors of the research that has elucidated this new trend in oral cancers. OCF is very aware of the dangers this virus poses in the world of oral cancers which will take almost three times as many lives in the US as cervical cancer this year, and is actively engaged in informing the American public of the risks associated with HPV. You can read the press release related to OCF request to the FDA in the press kit link on the main/home page of the web site, and the foundation maintains a page dedicated to HPV with the most current published articles on it, which can be accessed from a link on that same home page.

September, 2008|Oral Cancer News|

Free nicotine content and strategic marketing of moist snuff tobacco products in the United States: 2000–2006

Source: Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Authors: H R Alpert, H Koh, G N Connolly

Background:
From 2000 to 2006, moist snuff sales have increased and now account for 71% of the smokeless tobacco market. Previous research has shown that major manufacturers of smokeless tobacco products manipulated free nicotine, the form most readily absorbed, to promote tolerance and addiction.

Aim:
This study examines the possibility that company-specific and brand-specific strategies of the major moist snuff manufacturers involve controlling free nicotine content and ease of dosing with products that are designed and targeted to specific groups. This study looks at the current total US moist snuff market with product design data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; moist snuff use from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health; market data from ACNielsen; and magazine advertising expenditures from TNS Media Intelligence.

Results:
(1) The levels of free nicotine of moist snuff products have increased over time for several major manufacturers;
(2) the number and variety of sub-brands have increased over time;
(3) changes in design, as reflected by variation in free nicotine associated with pH or tobacco leaf, or both, have enhanced the ease and uniformity of dosing;
(4) marketing through price and advertising has increased; and
(5) youth use has increased.

Conclusion:
A combination of factors including brand proliferation, control of free nicotine and product design has most likely resulted in the expanded consumption of moist snuff, particularly among young people.

September, 2008|Oral Cancer News|