Monthly Archives: September 2012

Studies question value of certain HNC biomarkers

Source: Dr.Biscuspid.com

September 19, 2012 — Human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA positivity alone, particularly when assessed using polymerase chain reaction methods, is a poor biomarker for HPV-driven head and neck cancers (HNCs), according to two studies published in Cancer Research (September 18, 2012).

These studies identified alternative potential markers, including viral load, viral gene expression, and the evaluation of HPV DNA in combination with certain HPV assays.

Prior research has established that HPV is a cause of some head and neck cancers, including oropharyngeal cancer, and that patients with HPV-associated disease tend to have a better clinical outcome. Consequently, the proper assessment of the clinical status of individual tumors has become a goal of clinicians treating this disease because HPV at the tumor site does not indicate causal involvement in the cancer.

In the first study, Dana Holzinger, PhD, of the division of genome modifications and carcinogenesis at the German Cancer Research Center, and colleagues analyzed the potential of direct and indirect HPV markers to identify patients with HPV-driven tumors.

They analyzed 199 oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma specimens for HPV DNA, viral load, RNA expression patterns seen in cervical carcinomas, and the p16 protein. They found that the cervical cancer RNA expression pattern and viral load were associated with the lowest risk for death from oropharyngeal cancer. In contrast, a weaker association was found for samples that were HPV DNA-positive or that expressed the p16 protein.

“We showed that high viral load and a cancer-specific pattern of viral gene expression are most suited to identify patients with HPV-driven tumors among patients with oropharyngeal cancer,” Holzinger said. “Viral expression pattern is a completely new marker in this field and viral load has hardly been analyzed before.”

In a second study, researchers evaluated several biomarkers individually and in combination for overall survival among head and neck cancers including polymerase chain reaction-based and serological HPV DNA testing, and p16 immunohistochemistry.

They found that the expression of two oncoproteins, E6 and E7, was associated with improved survival in oropharyngeal disease. In addition, HPV DNA positivity or p16 expression combined with E6 and E7 expression also were associated with enhanced survival. However, neither HPV DNA positivity nor expression of p16 alone yielded a similar result.

“Assessment of HPV DNA using polymerase chain reaction methods as a biomarker in individual head and neck cancers is a poor predictor of outcome and is also poorly associated with antibody response indicative of exposure and/or infection by HPV,” said study author Karl Kelsey, MD, a professor in the department of epidemiology and the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at Brown University. “We may not be diagnosing these tumors as accurately and precisely as we need to for adjusting treatments.”

The next step in this research is further validating the findings of these two studies using head-to-head comparisons and developing assays for direct clinical application of the markers.

“Once standardized assays for these markers, applicable in routine clinical laboratories, are established, they will allow precise identification of patients with oropharyngeal cancer with or without HPV-driven cancers and, thus, will influence prognosis and potentially treatment decisions,” Holzinger said.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

CMC gets $8M to study oral damage from radiation

Source: wcnc.com

by Karen Garloch / The Charlotte Observer

A research team in the Department of Oral Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center has received an $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study tissue damage in patients who have received high-dose radiation for head and neck cancer. Hospital officials said it is the largest research grant ever awarded to CMC.

Dr. Michael Brennan, associate chairman of the oral medicine department, will be principal investigator for the Charlotte research site. Patients will also be enrolled at Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, New York University and the University of Connecticut.

Brennan said the five-year study will help doctors develop evidence-based guidelines for the care of patients’ dental health before or after radiation therapy.

Patients with head and neck cancer often receive high-dose radiation therapy that results in lifelong damage to oral and facial tissues. Side effects include a decrease in saliva production, which increases the risk of tooth decay and tooth loss. Radiation can also impair bone healing, leading to an increased risk of infection around the teeth and increased risk of jaw fractures and pain that could require surgery.

Patients enrolled in the study will receive a standard dental assessment prior to radiation therapy, and follow-up visits will be conducted every six months for up to two years.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Smokeless tobacco products pose serious health risks

Source: www.nice.org.uk
Author: staff

Smokeless tobacco products used by some people in South Asian communities are associated with serious health risks such as oral cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to latest NICE guidance. Many members of the South Asian community use smokeless tobacco products to freshen the breath or to aid digestion.

These products, which include paan or gutkha, are typically served as a mixture which is chewed and consists of betel leaf combined with areca nut, tobacco and spices. Research shows that particular groups within South Asian communities such as women, those in older age groups and people from Bangladeshi origin, are more likely to use these products.

However, many are not aware that using smokeless tobacco carries health risks such as cardiovascular disease, dental disease, nicotine addiction, problems in pregnancy, and oral cancer. South Asian women are almost four times more likely to have oral cancer as those from other groups. It is thought that the prevalence of smokeless tobacco among South Asian women is one of the main reasons for this increased likelihood.

NICE’s public health guidance on smokeless tobacco cessation for South Asian communities contains a number of recommendations to tackle its use and improve knowledge of its associated health risks. The recommendations are aimed a range of groups including directors of public health, clinical commissioning groups, dental public health consultants, and faith leaders and others involved in faith centres. NICE says local need should be assessed to determine the prevalence and incidence of smokeless tobacco use, the products used and the perceived level of health risk associated with the products. Organisations should collaborate with South Asian communities to plan, design, coordinate, implement and publicise activities to help them stop using smokeless tobacco.

NICE recommends that any materials on smokeless tobacco cessation should refer to the products using the names people use locally.

In addition, information about the risks associated with these products should be provided, as well as information about the availability of services to help people quit. The guidance also advises that dentists and GPs should use brief interventions to advise those using smokeless tobacco to stop.

Brief interventions include offering verbal advice, discussion, negotiation or encouragement, and typically take no more than a few minutes for basic advice, up to around 20 minutes for a more extended, individually-focused discussion. They may also involve a referral for further interventions or more intensive support.

Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the NICE Centre for Public Health Excellence, said: “This guidance is an important opportunity to highlight the range of serious health risks associated with smokeless tobacco products, such as paan or gutkha, which are used by some people of South Asian origin.

“Often the people using these products aren’t aware that they contain tobacco, nor that they could be at greater risk of oral cancers or cardiovascular disease.

“There’s also low awareness of the health problems caused by these smokeless tobacco products within mainstream NHS services.”

He added: “We hope that this guidance will inform health professionals of the risks posed by these products, so they can take action by asking patients of South Asian origin if they use smokeless tobacco, making sure they are aware of the health risks, and where appropriate referring people for support to help them stop using these products.”

Dr Kiran Patel, Chief Executive of the South Asian Health Foundation, spoke to NICE about the use of smokeless tobacco on the South Asian community.

Dr Patel welcomed the guidance “as an important step in raising awareness of the dangers of smokeless tobacco use and promoting ways to help encourage and support people to stop using smokeless tobacco”.

September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Growing ‘mini tumors’ from patient’s cancer could lead to custom treatments

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com
Author: Marilynn Marchione

It’s a medical nightmare: a 24-year-old man endures 350 surgeries since childhood to remove growths that keep coming back in his throat and have spread to his lungs, threatening his life. Now doctors have found a way to help him by way of a scientific coup that holds promise for millions of cancer patients.

The bizarre case is the first use in a patient of a new discovery: how to keep ordinary and cancerous cells alive indefinitely in the lab.

The discovery allows doctors to grow “mini tumors” from each patient’s cancer in a lab dish, then test various drugs or combinations on them to see which works best. It takes only a few cells from a biopsy and less than two weeks to do, with materials and methods common in most hospitals.

Although the approach needs much more testing against many different types of cancer, researchers think it could offer a cheap, simple way to personalize treatment without having to analyze each patient’s genes.

“We see a lot of potential for it,” said one study leader, Dr. Richard Schlegel, pathology chief at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington. “Almost everyone could do it easily.”

An independent expert agreed.

For infections, it’s routine to grow bacteria from a patient in lab dishes to see which antibiotics work best, Dr. George Q. Daley of Children’s Hospital Boston and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute said in an email. “But this has never been possible with cancer cells because they don’t easily grow in culture,” he said.

The new technique may reveal in advance whether a person would be helped by a specific chemotherapy, without risking side effects and lost time if the drug doesn’t work. “Pretty nifty,” Daley wrote.

In the case of the 24-year-old, described in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine, lab-dish tests suggested that a drug used to treat a type of blood cancer and some other unrelated conditions might help.

It’s not a drug that doctors would have thought to try, because the man technically does not have cancer. But his lung tumor shrank after a few months of treatment, and he has been stable for more than a year. He still has to have operations to remove throat growths that keep coming back, but only about once every five months.

The man, an information technology specialist in suburban Washington who asked to remain anonymous to protect his privacy, has recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, or RRP. It’s usually due to infection at birth with certain types of a virus, HPV, that causes genital warts.

The condition causes wartlike growths in the throat, usually around the voice box. These growths usually are noncancerous but can turn malignant, and even benign ones can prove fatal if they spread to the lungs. The main treatment is surgery, usually with lasers to vaporize the growths and keep them from choking off the airway or making it hard to talk.

About 10,000 or more people in the U.S. have the disease, said Jennifer Woo, president of the RRP Foundation. Woo, 29, is a medical student at Georgetown and one of the researchers on the study. She also has the condition but said it is confined to her throat and has required only about 20 surgeries so far.

The man in the study has a much more serious case.

“I was diagnosed when I was 3 or 4. At first, I had to have surgery every 7 to 10 days,” the man said in a phone interview. “I get short of breath and my voice will get more hoarse.”

Two years ago, the growths to his lungs became extensive and life-threatening, and his physician, Dr. Scott Myers, described the condition at a meeting of Georgetown hospital specialists. “It’s crushing the airway,” Myers said.

Doctors suggested that the new lab method pioneered by Schlegel and others might help. It borrows an idea from stem cell researchers: adding mouse cells for nourishment, plus a chemical that prevents cell death to an ordinary lab culture medium. That enabled healthy and cancerous cells to keep growing indefinitely.

Researchers grew “mini tumors” from the man’s lung mass and from healthy tissue and screened various drugs against them. One proved ineffective. Another worked against the tumor but at too high a dose to be safe. The third did the trick.

A similar approach could let doctors screen drugs for cancer patients.

“What could be more personalized than taking this person’s cell, growing it in culture, finding a drug to treat them and then treat them?” said Doug Melton, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. The Georgetown method gives an answer quickly enough that it could save lives, he said.

Tyler Jacks, a cancer researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former president of the American Association for Cancer Research, said the next step is to show that this could work for many different cancers and that it leads to better outcomes in patients.

“It seems to have worked in this one instance, but other tumors might prove to be more challenging,” he said.

The National Institutes of Health paid for much of this work and has already sent research teams to Georgetown to learn the method. About a dozen other universities have done the same, Schlegel said. So far, his lab has grown prostate, breast, lung and colon cancer cells. Georgetown University is seeking a patent on the method.

September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Dentists asked to help in curbing mouth cancer

Source:
Author:

The increasing cases of oral cancer have pushed the Cancer Research UK to ask dentists to look for cancer related symptoms in their patients. By checking the mouth properly, dentists can gauge whether or not a person is prone of developing mouth cancer.

Mouth cancer can be lethal if timely treatment isn’t provided to the patients. Smoking and heavy drinking could be one of the reasons behind causing mouth cancer. Chewing tobacco is yet again contributing to mouth cancer. While examining the patients, the dentists have been advised to look for cancer contributing factors.

It is estimated that by 2030 there will be an increase in the number of mouth cancer patients. People under the age group of 50 years are growing becoming victim of mouth cancer. Oral sex is yet another factor that could lead to mouth cancer.

People need to be made aware about the growing incidences of mouth cancer so that innocent lives could be saved. Avoiding heavy drinking, smoke and unhygienic oral sex can help in preventing mouth cancer. Besides, dentists can also help in saving lives by detecting mouth cancer earlier through regular checkups. It is hoped that the dentists will take serious note of the recommendations.

September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Oropharyngeal cancer patients with HPV have a more robust response to radiation therapy

Source: Eurekalert.org

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — UC Davis cancer researchers have discovered significant differences in radiation-therapy response among patients with oropharyngeal cancer depending on whether they carry the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted virus. The findings, published online today in The Laryngoscope Journal, could lead to more individualized radiation treatment regimens, which for many patients with HPV could be shorter and potentially less toxic.

HPV-related cancers of the oropharynx (the region of the throat between the soft palate and the epiglottis, including the tonsils, base of tongue and uvula) have steadily increased in recent years, according to the National Cancer Institute, especially among men. At the same time, the incidence of oropharyngeal cancers related to other causes, such as smoking or alcohol consumption, is declining. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States; it can spread through direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal and oral sex.

The UC Davis study, conducted by Allen Chen, associate professor in the UC Davis Department of Radiation Oncology, examined patterns of tumor reduction during radiation treatment in two otherwise similar groups of patients with oropharyngeal cancer: those who tested positive for HPV and those who tested negative for the virus. None of the HPV patients in the study was a smoker, a leading risk factor for the disease.

Chen used CT scans acquired during image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and endoscopy (a tube with a small camera) to capture 3D images of the patients’ tumors and monitor their treatment progress. He found that within the first two weeks after starting radiation, the gross tumor volume decreased by 33 percent in HPV-positive patients, while the volume decreased by only 10 percent in HPV-negative patients.

Chen said the results demonstrate that HPV-positive patients have a more rapid and robust response to radiation treatments, confirming what clinicians have suspected for years.

“These HPV-related tumors literally melt before your eyes,” he said. “It is very gratifying to tell patients early on during treatment that their tumors are responding so quickly. Most of them are pleasantly relieved to hear such news.”

The rapid rate of tumor regression did not continue, however, after the second week of radiation treatment, and by the end of the seven-week regimen, the total tumor shrinkage in both groups of patients was nearly the same.

However, “the dramatic early response observed in the HPV-positive patients strongly implies that these tumors behave distinctly from a biological standpoint and could be approached as a separate disease process,” Chen said.

For example, the findings suggest that treatment for HPV-positive cancer may not need to be as intensive for it to be effective, Chen said, adding that a shorter, abbreviated treatment regimen would potentially lessen the side effects from radiation, which include sore throat, dry mouth, taste loss and swallowing difficulties.

“It is likely that treatment in the future will be individualized based on biomarkers present in the tumor, and HPV has the potential to do just that,” said Chen.

Chen said there is increasing evidence that HPV-positive patients who receive radiation treatments live longer and have higher cure rates. According to the NCI, 88 percent of the HPV-positive patients are still alive two years after their treatments, compared with 66 percent of the HPV-negative patients.

“Given the impressive outcomes for patients with HPV-positive cancer using currently aggressive treatments, how to de-intensify therapy while maintaining cure rates is definitely a hot topic right now,” said Chen.

Chen, in collaboration with colleagues, has recently launched a clinical trial of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer patients to evaluate outcomes when their radiation doses are reduced from seven weeks to either five or six, depending on their response to initial chemotherapy. This institutional trial, which is only available at UC Davis, just recently opened enrollment.

“Why subject a patient to seven weeks of radiation when five weeks of radiation could be just as effective?” Chen said. “Sparing select patients from this extra radiation could potentially prevent significant toxic side effects and improve quality of life, both in the short-term and long-terms.”

The current clinical trial also involves collection of oropharyngeal patient blood and tumor samples during treatment, so that researchers can precisely correlate HPV in these specimens with a patient’s rate of response to radiation therapy.

The dramatic increase in oropharyngeal cancers in recent years has been described as an “epidemic,” Chen said, due in large part to the increasing prevalence of HPV. In the United States, more than half of cancers currently diagnosed in the oropharynx are linked to HPV-16, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“Our trial was designed to help determine what the optimal treatment approach for these patients might be in the future,” Chen said.

Why HPV-positive tumors respond differently to radiation treatment is under investigation at UC Davis, as well. The thought is that HPV labels cancer cells with a foreign antigen, which stimulates an immune response, Chen said.

“The HPV hijacks the host cancer cell leading to expression of a viral antigen on the surface, causing the patient’s immune system to ramp up and fight the cancer,” Chen said. “By identifying which molecular pathways are up-regulated or down-regulated during radiation therapy, it is our hope that insight may be gained into why HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer is so radiation sensitive. This could have tremendous implications for developing strategies to fight not just oropharyngeal cancer, but all tumors in the future.”

 

###

Other authors were Judy Li and Laurel A. Beckett from the Division of Biostatistics of the Department of Public Health Sciences, Talia Zhara of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Gregory Farwell of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Derick H. Lau, associate professor of internal medicine, hematology and oncology, Regina Gandour-Edwards of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Andrew T. Vaughan, professor of radiation oncology, and James A. Purdy professor emeritus of the Department of Radiation Oncology and former director of the physics division.

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 9,000 adults and children every year, and access to more than 150 clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 280 scientists at UC Davis, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jackson Laboratory (JAX West), whose scientific partnerships advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Through the Cancer Care Network, UC Davis collaborates with a number of hospitals and clinical centers throughout the Central Valley and Northern California regions to offer the latest cancer care. Its community-based outreach and education programs address disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations. For more information, visit cancer.ucdavis.edu.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Robotic Surgery Through The Mouth Safe For Removing Tumors Of The Voice Box, Study Shows

Source: HealthCanal.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Robotic surgery though the mouth is a safe and effective way to remove tumors of the throat and voice box, according to a study by head and neck cancer surgeons at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

<p>Dr. Enver Ozer<br /></p>

Dr. Enver Ozer

This is the first report in the world literature illustrating the safety and efficacy of transoral robotic surgery for supraglottic laryngectomy, the researchers say.
The preliminary study examined the outcomes of 13 head and neck cancer patients with tumors located in the region of the throat between the base of the tongue and just above the vocal cords, an area known as the supraglottic region.
The study found that the use of robot-assisted surgery to remove these tumors through the mouth took about 25 minutes on average, and that blood loss was minimal – a little more than three teaspoons, or 15.4 milliliters, on average, per patient. No surgical complications were encountered and 11 of the 13 patients could accept an oral diet within 24 hours.
If, on the other hand, these tumors are removed by performing open surgery on the neck, the operation can take around 4 hours to perform, require 7 to 10 days of hospitalization on average and require a tracheostomy tube and a stomach tube, the researchers say.
The findings were published recently in the journal Head and Neck.
“The transoral robotic technique means shorter surgery, less time under anesthesia, a lower risk of complications and shorter hospital stays for these patients,” says first author Dr. Enver Ozer, clinical associate professor of otolaryngology at the OSUCCC – James.
“It also means no external surgical incisions for the patient and better 3-D visualization of the tumor for the surgeon,” says Ozer, a head and neck surgeon who specializes in robot-assisted techniques.
The cases examined in this study were part of a larger prospective study of 126 patients undergoing transoral robotic surgery between 2008 and 2011.
Other Ohio State researchers involved in this study were Bianca Alvarez, Kiran Kakarala, Kasim Durmus, Ted N. Teknos and Ricardo L. Carrau.
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only seven centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials. The NCI recently rated Ohio State’s cancer program as “exceptional,” the highest rating given by NCI survey teams. As the cancer program’s 210-bed adult patient-care component, The James is a “Top Hospital” as named by the Leapfrog Group and one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S.News & World Report.
This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.
September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

DNA alone inadequate to identify HPV-related cancers

Source: www.oncologypractice.com
Author: Mary Ann Moon

Testing for the presence of human papillomavirus DNA alone, especially using polymerase chain reaction methods, is not adequate to identify which head and neck squamous cell carcinomas are caused by the virus, according to two studies published online Sept. 18 in Cancer Research.

Identifying HPV-driven malignancies is important because they respond better to treatment and have better outcomes than those unrelated to HPV infection. Indeed, treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) may soon be guided by the tumor’s HPV status, since trials are now underway to determine whether de-escalation of chemo- and radiotherapy is safe and effective in such patients.

At present, however, the biomarkers that are best suited to making this identification are unclear.

Case Series Assesses Biomarkers
In the first study, researchers assessed the usefulness of four biomarkers in determining which HNSCCs in a case series were driven by HPV. They began by examining fresh-frozen tumor biopsy samples from 199 German adults diagnosed as having oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer between 1990 and 2008.

The four biomarkers were HPV-16 viral load, viral oncogene RNA (E6 and E7), p16INK4a, and RNA patterns similar to those characteristic of cervical carcinomas (CxCa RNA), said Dr. Dana Holzinger of the German Cancer Research Center at Heidelberg (Germany) University and her associates.

The simple presence of HPV DNA in a tumor sample was found to be a poor indicator of prognosis, likely because it often signaled past HPV infections or recent oral exposure, rather than active HPV infection that progressed to malignancy, the investigators said (Cancer Res. 2012 Sept. 18).

Instead, “we showed that high viral load and a cancer-specific pattern of viral gene expression are most suited to identify patients with HPV-driven tumors among patients with oropharyngeal cancer. Viral expression pattern is a completely new marker in this field, and viral load has hardly been analyzed before,” Dr. Holzinger said in a press statement accompanying the publication of these findings.

“Once standardized assays for these markers, applicable in routine clinical laboratories, are established, they will allow precise identification” of cancers that are or are not HPV-driven, which will in turn influence prognosis and treatment, she added.

Results Back Combination Approach
In the second study, Dr. Caihua Liang of Brown University, Providence, R.I., and her associates examined 488 HNSCC samples as well as serum samples collected in a population-based study in the Boston area during 1999-2003.

As in the first study, these investigators found that the mere presence of HPV-16 DNA in these tumors, particularly when detected by PCR analysis, did not accurately predict overall survival or progression-free survival.

Instead, “our study strongly suggests that the combination of detection of HPV-16 DNA in HNSCC tumors [plus] p16 immunostaining with E6/E7 antibodies represents the most clinically valuable surrogate marker for the identification of patients . . . who have a better prognosis,” they said (Cancer Res. 2012 Sept. 28).

“Assessment of HPV DNA using polymerase chain reaction methods as a biomarker in individual head and neck cancers is a poor predictor of outcome, and is also poorly associated with antibody response indicative of exposure and/or infection by HPV,” senior author Dr. Karl T. Kelsey added in the press statement.

“We may not be diagnosing these tumors as accurately and precisely as we need to for adjusting treatments,” said Dr. Kelsey, a professor in the department of epidemiology and the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at Brown University.

Dr. Holzinger’s study was funded in part by the European Commission, BMBG/HGAF-Canceropole Grand-Est, and the German Research Foundation. Her associates reported ties to Qiagen and Roche. Dr. Liang’s study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute, and one associate reported ties to Bristol-Myers Squibb.

September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Pilot study in patients with head and neck cancer finds that Derma Sciences’ MEDIHONEY® reduces hospital stays

Source: www.dailyfinance.com

Derma Sciences, Inc., a medical device and pharmaceutical company focused on advanced wound care, today reported an independent pilot study conducted in the U.K. showed that MEDIHONEY® may reduce the length of hospital stays by encouraging more rapid healing. The study, entitled “Randomised controlled feasibility trial on the use of medical grade honey following microvascular free tissue transfer to reduce the incidence of wound infection,” was conducted by Dr. Val Robson, RGN, B.Sc (Hons) Dip HE, Clinical Nurse Specialist Leg Ulcer Care, and colleagues from University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, U.K. The article was published in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in June 2012.

The study found that in 49 patients randomized to receive MEDIHONEY or standard dressings following microvascular free tissue reconstruction for cancer of the head and neck, the median duration of hospital stay was 12 days in the MEDIHONEY group (n=25), compared with a median of 18 days in the control group (n=24) (p<0.05). MEDIHONEY, which has the CE Mark in the E.U. and is sold in the U.K. and Europe via six direct sales representatives and a network of distributors, respectively, was provided by Derma Sciences Europe Ltd.

Commenting on the study, investigator and author Dr. Val Robson said, “We have used medical honey successfully on chronic wounds for over a decade. The in-vitro evidence is available to show that honey eradicates wound infecting organisms and this new piece of research has shown that honey can be used on wounds healing by first intention to help prevent surgical site infection.”

“MEDIHONEY has been the subject of numerous positive independent studies in a number of countries, and we are pleased to add yet another to the growing body of knowledge of the utility of our proprietary, innovative dressing in multiple care settings,” commented Edward J. Quilty, chief executive officer of Derma Sciences. “As healthcare practice becomes more and more subject to cost constraints, a reduction in hospital stay is vitally important. ”

Note:
The abstract of the study may be found on line at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21831489.

September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Head and neck cancer rates for smokeless tobacco described

Source: Health News Observer

September 16, 2012 | by Steven Rothrock MD

Smokeless tobacco is tobacco that is not burned or smoked. Other terms used for smokeless tobacco include chewing tobacco, spitting tobacco, dip, chew, and snuff. Typically these products are held in the mouth until juices are built up and spit out. Spitless products are available and some people choose to swallow the juices instead. Nicotine, which can be addictive, and cancer-causing agents are absorbed through the mouth’s lining.

While using smokeless tobacco has been associated with many different cancers, the magnitude of the risk has not been previously well described. This week, in an online edition of the International Journal of Cancer, researchers sought to identify the magnitude of the risk of developing head and neck cancer in those who used smokeless tobacco. Towards that goal, the risk of cancer was compared between 1,046 users and 1,239 non-users of smokeless tobacco. After adjusting for age, sex, race, education, cigarette smoking, and alcohol use, any use of smokeless tobacco was associated with a 20% increased risk of head and neck cancer. Use of smokeless tobacco for 10 or more years had a 320% higher rate of developing these cancers compared to those who never used these products.

In addition to head and neck cancers, users of these products are at risk for other cancers (e.g. esophageal, pancreatic, kidney), heart disease, high blood pressure, pregnancy loss, premature birth or low birth weights, low sperm counts, not to mention tooth gum disease and tooth decay. For those wishing to quit, help is available at the government website www.smokefree.gov.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|