Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Vaccination Effect: 100 Million Cases of Contagious Disease Prevented

Source: The New York Times
By: Steve Lohr

 

 

Vaccination programs for children have prevented more than 100 million cases of serious contagious disease in the United States since 1924, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The research, led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh’s graduate school of public health, analyzed public health reports going back to the 19th century. The reports covered 56 diseases, but the article in the journal focused on seven: polio, measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis A, diphtheria and pertussis, or whooping cough.

 

Bigdata1-hpMedium

Brian Snyder/Reuters (It won’t hurt a bit.) Researchers went back over health reports and measured the drop in disease after a vaccine was introduced.

Researchers analyzed disease reports before and after the times when vaccines became commercially available. Put simply, the estimates for prevented cases came from the falloff in disease reports after vaccines were licensed and widely available. The researchers projected the number of cases that would have occurred had the pre-vaccination patterns continued as the nation’s population increased.

The journal article is one example of the kind of analysis that can be done when enormous data sets are built and mined. The project, which started in 2009, required assembling 88 million reports of individual cases of disease, much of it from the weekly morbidity reports in the library of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Then the reports had to be converted to digital formats.

Most of the data entry — 200 million keystrokes — was done by Digital Divide Data, a social enterprise that provides jobs and technology training to young people in Cambodia, Laos and Kenya.

Still, data entry was just a start. The information was put into spreadsheets for making tables, but was later sorted and standardized so it could be searched, manipulated and queried on the project’s website.

“Collecting all this data is one thing, but making the data computable is where the big payoff should be,” said Dr. Irene Eckstrand, a program director and science officer for the N.I.H.’s Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study.

The University of Pittsburgh researchers also looked at death rates, but decided against including an estimate in the journal article, largely because death certificate data became more reliable and consistent only in the 1960s, the researchers said.

 

Bigdata3-articleInlineUniversity of Pittsburgh Dr. Donald S. Burke, a dean at the University of Pittsburgh.

But Dr. Donald S. Burke, the dean of Pittsburgh’s graduate school of public health and an author of the medical journal article, said that a reasonable projection of prevented deaths based on known mortality rates in the disease categories would be three million to four million.

The scientists said their research should help inform the debate on the risks and benefits of vaccinating American children.

Pointing to the research results, Dr. Burke said, “If you’re anti-vaccine, that’s the price you pay.”

The medical journal article notes the recent resurgence of some diseases as some parents have resisted vaccinating their children. For example, the worst whooping cough epidemic since 1959 occurred last year, with more than 38,000 reported cases nationwide.

The disease data is on the project’s website, available for use by other researchers, students, the news media and members of the public who may be curious about the outbreak and spread of a particular disease. Much of the data is searchable by disease, year and location. The project was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

Bigdata2-articleInline-v2Brian Cohen Dr. Willem G. van Panhuis, an epidemiologist at Pittsburgh, said he hoped the disease reports would yield other insights.

 

“I’m very excited to see what people will find in this data, what patterns and insights are there waiting to be discovered,” said Dr. Willem G. van Panhuis, an epidemiologist at Pittsburgh and lead author of the journal article.

The project’s name itself is a nod to the notion that data is a powerful tool for scientific discovery. It is called Project Tycho, after the 16th century Danish nobleman Tycho Brahe, whose careful, detailed astronomical observations were the foundation on which Johannes Kepler made the creative leap to devise his laws of planetary motion.

The open-access model for the project at Pittsburgh is increasingly the pattern with government data. The United States government has opened up thousands of data sets to the public.

Just how these assets will be exploited commercially is still in the experimental stage, other than a few well-known applications like using government weather data for forecasting services and insurance products.

But the potential seems to be considerable. Last month, the McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of the consulting firm, projected that the total economic benefit to companies and consumers of open data could reach $3 trillion worldwide.

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

 

November, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Cancer Prevention Research

 

Clinical and biochemical studies support smokeless tobacco’s carcinogenic potential in the human oral cavity

 
Source: American Association of Cancer Research
Published: November 9, 2013
By: Susan R. Mallery, Meng Tong, Gregory C. Michaels, Amber R. Kiyani, and Stephen S. Hecht

 

Abstract

In 2007, International Agency for Cancer Research presented compelling evidence that linked smokeless tobacco use to the development of human oral cancer. While these findings imply vigorous local carcinogen metabolism, little is known regarding levels and distribution of Phase I, II and drug egress enzymes in human oral mucosa. In the study presented here, we integrated clinical data, imaging and histopathologic analyses of an oral squamous cell carcinoma that arose at the site of smokeless tobacco quid placement in a patient. Immunoblot and immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses were employed to identify tumor and normal human oral mucosal smokeless tobacco-associated metabolic activation and detoxification enzymes. Human oral epithelium contains every known Phase I enzyme associated with nitrosamine oxidative bioactivation with ~2 fold inter-donor differences in protein levels. Previous studies have confirmed ~3.5 fold inter-donor variations in intraepithelial Phase II enzymes. Unlike the superficially located enzymes in non-replicating esophageal surface epithelium, IHC studies confirmed oral mucosal nitrosamine metabolizing enzymes reside in the basilar and suprabasilar region which notably is the site of ongoing keratinocyte DNA replication. Clearly, variations in product composition, nitrosamine metabolism and exposure duration will modulate clinical outcomes. The data presented here form a coherent picture consistent with the abundant experimental data that links tobacco-specific nitrosamines to human oral cancer.

 

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

 

November, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Incidence of oropharyngeal cancer on the rise

Source: News-Medical.net
Published: November 22, 2013

 

NCI scientists report that the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer significantly increased during the period 1983-2002 among people in countries that are economically developed. Oropharyngeal cancer occurs primarily in the middle part of the throat behind the mouth, including the base of the tongue, the side and back walls of the throat, and the tonsils. The results of this study, by Anil K. Chaturvedi, Ph.D., Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI, and his colleagues, appeared online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nov. 18, 2013.

Recent studies from several countries have reported rising incidence of oropharyngeal cancers and subsequent studies have shown the human papilloma virus (HPV) as the potential cause. However, it has been unclear whether this increase in oropharyngeal cancer incidence represents a global phenomenon. Chaturvedi and his collaborators at Ohio State University and the International Agency for Research on Cancer evaluated incidence trends for oropharyngeal and oral cavity cancers. Their analysis was based on cancer registry data from more than 180,000 patients in 23 countries. They found that oropharyngeal cancer incidence increased overall among both women and men from 1983 to 2002, almost exclusively in economically developed countries. Among women, in all countries with significant increases in oropharyngeal cancer incidence, there was also an increase in incidence of both oral cancer and lung cancer, two cancers strongly associated with smoking. In contrast, among men, rising oropharyngeal cancer incidence was generally accompanied by decreases for oral cancer and lung cancer. These observations among men suggest some factor other than smoking, perhaps infection with HPV, as a potential explanation for rising oropharyngeal cancer incidence. Researchers note that prophylactic HPV vaccine has been shown to protect against oral HPV infection, suggesting an additional benefit of vaccination programs for both women and men.

 

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

 

November, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Swallowing exercises preserve function in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation

Source: http://www.newsfix.ca/
Author: staff

A study at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation as part of their treatment were less likely to need a feeding tube or suffer unwanted side effects such as worsening of diet or narrowing of the throat passage if they performed a set of prescribed swallowing exercises — called a “swallow preservation protocol” — during therapy.

The study, conducted from 2007 to 2012, was led by Dr. Marilene Wang, a member of the Jonsson Cancer Center and professor-in-residence in the department of head and neck surgery at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. The study was published online by the journal Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, and will appear later in the journal’s print edition.

Surgery and radiation have been the traditional treatments for head and neck cancer, but with the advent of improved and targeted chemotherapy, many types of this disease are treated with chemotherapy and radiation, (chemoradiation) in the hope of preserving the tissue and structure. But, even when tissue and structure are preserved, patients do not always retain their ability to swallow naturally and normally.

Most patients who receive chemoradiation have significant side effects during treatment and for a long time after recovery. Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) is one of the most common unwanted side effects of radiation and chemoradiation, and is one of the main predictors of diminished quality of life for the patient after treatment.

Wang’s study was designed to evaluate the swallow preservation protocol, in which patients had swallow therapy before, during and after radiation treatment. The protocol’s effectiveness was measured by patients’ continued ability to swallow and how that affected their diets, whether they needed a feeding tube, and whether they developed narrowing of the throat (stenosis). The same attributes were also measured for a group of patients who were not compliant with the protocol.

Study participants received assessments of their swallowing ability by Wang’s team two weeks before their treatment, were taught what side effects they could expect from the treatment and were given an introduction to the swallowing exercise program. The exercises were designed to maintain the range of motion of mouth and neck muscles involved in swallowing and to counter the formation of excess tissue caused by the radiation (radiation fibrosis), which contributes to loss of swallowing ability. Compliance to the protocol was self-reported by patients during weekly visits to UCLA.

Among 85 participants, 57 were deemed compliant with the protocol and 28 were non-compliant. Patients’ ages ranged from 22 to 91, and there were more 66 men and 19 women.

Swallow preservation exercises before and during radiation treatment appeared to maintain patient’s ability to swallow, and patients who were compliant with the protocol had a faster return to normal diet and lower incidence of throat stenosis.

“Our results demonstrate that compliance with swallow therapy during radiation or chemoradiation treatment is beneficial to patients’ retaining their ability to swallow after treatment is over,” Wang said. “The real benefit of this compliance is that patients benefit immediately after treatment and for a prolonged time afterward. Attending our weekly program, fully committing to the exercises and being monitored by our staff appears to have a significantly measurable effect for these patients.”

Note:
1. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

November, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Global trends in oral cancers

Source: www.dailyrx.com
Author: staff

It used to be that smoking and drinking alcohol were the biggest risk factors for cancers that develop in the mouth and throat. Those trends may be changing, according to a new study. That new study uncovered that cancers that appear in the throat right behind the mouth have increased, primarily in developed countries. The trend has been most prevalent in men under the age of 60, the researchers found. These increases, the authors suggested, may be linked to human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus that’s associated with a number of cancers, including oral cancers.

Anil K. Chaturvedi, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute, led this study that examined incidence trends for oropharyngeal (part of the throat behind the mouth) and oral cavity (mouth) cancers in 23 countries across four continents. The researchers examined the countries’ cancer registry data for the years 1983 to 2002.

In the study’s introduction, the authors noted that oral cavity cancers (OCC) have declined recently in most parts of the world due to the declines in tobacco use. At the same time, oropharyngeal cancers (OPC) have risen over the past 20 years in some countries. OPC rates were compared to those of OCC and lung cancers to distinguish the potential role of HPV from smoking-related cancer trends.

The researchers tracked specific OPC sites, including base of the tongue, tonsils, oropharynx and pharynx (throat). OCC sites included the tongue, gums, floor of the mouth, palate (roof of the mouth) and other areas of the mouth.

Here’s what the researchers learned:

  • OPC increased significantly among men in the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan and Slovakia. Incidence trends for OCC in these countries were either not significant or there was a significant decline in OCC.
  • Among women, there was an increase in both OPC and OCC cases in Denmark, Estonia, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
  • In Denmark and the United Kingdon, both OPC and OCC increased significantly, with stronger increases seen in OPC than in OCC.
  • Increasing OPC incidence in men was accompanied by decreasing incidence in lung cancer.
  • For women, however, increasing OPC incidence occurred at the same time as increasing Lung Cancer incidence.
  • OPC incidence rose substantially more for younger men under the age of 60 than in older ages in the United States, Australia, Canada, Slovakia, Denmark and the United Kingdom.
  • For OCC, a similar statistically significant increase at younger ages was seen only in the United Kingdom, while OCC incidence decreased significantly at younger ages in the United States, Australia and Canada.

The authors of this study pointed out that recent research has suggested that about 60 to 70 percent of OPCs in the US are caused by HPV infection, compared with less than 10 percent in less economically developed areas. The researchers wrote, “Our results underscore the potential for increasing global relevance of HPV as a cause of OPC.”

They added that the reasons for higher increases seen in men are not clear and warrant more investigation.

“This male predominance also has important implications for male HPV vaccination policy in several countries,” according to the researchers.

Meanwhile, tobacco and alcohol use remain major risk factors for both OPC and OCC, with OCC incidence two to four times higher than OPC in most parts of the world, “…underscoring the need for prevention strategies targeted toward tobacco and alcohol use,” the authors concluded.

Note:

1. This study was published November 18 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
2. The research was supported by the National Cancer Institute and by a grant from the Institut National du Cancer.
3. One of the authors disclosed financial ties with two pharmaceutical companies.

November, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

HPV Oral Cancer: Low Risk for HPV Transmission

Source: MedScape
By: Zosia Chustecka
Published: June 6, 2013

 

CHICAGO, Illinois — Because human papillomavirus (HPV) is transmitted through sexual contact, patients with HPV-related cancer often ask whether their partners are at risk and whether they should they change their sexual practices.

For patients with HPV-related oral cancers, data from the Human Oral Papillomavirus Transmission in Partners Over Time (HOTSPOT) study, presented here at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO®), will be reassuring.

In the small pilot study of 166 patients with HPV-related oral cancer and 94 long-term partners, researchers measured HPV DNA in oral rinse samples taken at baseline and at 1-year follow-up. The results show that the partners do not appear to be at increased risk for HPV infection, so they are not at increased risk for HPV-related oral cancer, the researchers conclude.

“This is reassuring for patients and their partners,” said lead author Gypsyamber D’Souza, PhD, MPH, MS, from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.

At a press briefing, she explained that patients are often anxious about this issue, and has heard of instances where it has led to divorce.

“Couples who have been together for several years have likely already shared whatever infections they have and no changes in their physical intimacy are needed.” However, “with new partners, caution is always advised,” she added.

Results Not Surprising

The results are not surprising, Otis Brawley, MD, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, told Medscape Medical News.

The median age of the patients in this study was 56 years; presumably, the partners were also in this age range. By that time, individuals have built up a natural immunity against HPV, Dr. Brawley said.

The main window for HPV transmission is in the first 5 years after initiation of sexual activity, he explained, which is usually in the teenage and early adult years.

Dr. Brawley cited a study of female college freshmen. At college entry, about 15% had been exposed to HPV; this had risen to 80% by the time of graduation. “Sexual activity in the late teenage years in the United States almost always leads to HPV infection, which is one of the reasons HPV vaccines are directed at girls 9 to 12 years of age,” he explained. “Once they have HPV in their body, the vaccine doesn’t work as well. It may lower certain subtypes, but it usually doesn’t work very well.”

Transmission From Genitals

For the HPV that causes oropharyngeal cancer (mainly HPV type 16), the main route of transmission appears to be from the genitals to mouth, Dr. Brawley noted.

This point was also made by study discussant Quynh-Thu Le, MD, from Stanford University in California. Previous studies have shown that male partners of women who have cervical cancer are at increased risk for tonsil cancer, she noted.

In the HOTSPOT study, 3 of the patients had previous spouses with cervical cancer and 2 of the partners reported a history of cervical precancer, but Dr. D’Souza and colleagues note that “these were self-reported, unconfirmed cases.”

The recent sharp increase in HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers has been linked to an increase in oral sex during the 1960s, as previously reported by Medscape Medical News. However, studies of sexual behavior suggest that oral sex is not the whole answer, Dr. Le said.

More research is needed to determine the time line of progression for HPV-related oral cancers and the way HPV is transmitted and suppressed by the immune system, she explained.

HPV in the Throat for Many Years

Dr. Brawley emphasized that the window for HPV transmission is early on, and said that the study patients in their 50s who had HPV-related oral cancer probably had the HPV infection in their throat for 30 years or more.

This issue recently caused a furor in celebrity news outlets after Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas said that his throat cancer was the result of HPV contracted after he engaged in oral sex.

The comment, made during an interview with the Guardian, was later released by the newspaper as an audioclip because the actor denied he had said it.

The actor backtracked because of the huge embarrassment to his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and his ex-wife, Diandra Douglas, both of whom then said publicly that they do not have the HPV infection. It also highlighted his past antics as a self-confessed womanizer, which led him to seek treatment for his “sex addiction.”

Later the same day, Michael Douglas appeared at an event hosted by the American Cancer Society, and joked that he had become “a poster boy” for oral cancer. “Just so you all understand, I think we would all love to know where our cancer comes from,” he added.

Pilot Study

In the HOTSPOT study, 55% of the patients with HPV-related oral cancer had an oral HPV infection when they were diagnosed, but only 7% still had the infection a year after having undergone cancer treatment.

Among the 94 partners, 6 had oral HPV infections (6.5%) and 2 had infection with HPV 16. No oral cancers were detected in the 60 partners who underwent a visual examination. These infections were “at very low levels,” and were not detectable a year later, the researchers note.

“They had it, and then they cleared the virus,” Dr. D’Souza said. “HPV infection is common and most individuals do not get cancer,” he added.

The study was funded by the Johns Hopkins Innovation Fund and the Richard Gelb Cancer prevention Award. Dr. D’Souza reports receiving research funding from Merck.

2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology: Abstract CRA6031. Presented June 1, 2013.

* This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.
November, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Incidence and clearance of oral human papillomavirus infection in men: the HIM cohort study

Source: The Lancet
Published: September 7, 2013
By: Aimée R Kreimer PhD, Christine M Pierce Campbell PhD, Hui-Yi Lin PhD, William Fulp MS, Mary R Papenfuss MS, Martha Abrahamsen MPH, Prof Allan Hildesheim PhD, Prof Luisa L Villa PhD, Jorge J Salmerón MD, Prof Eduardo Lazcano-Ponce PhD, Prof Anna R Giuliano PhD
 

Summary

Background

Oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection causes a subset of oropharyngeal cancers. These cancers disproportionately affect men, are increasing in incidence, and have no proven prevention methods. We aimed to establish the natural history of oral HPV infection in men.

Methods

To estimate incidence and clearance of HPV infections, men residing in Brazil, Mexico, and the USA who were HIV negative and reported no history of anogenital cancer were recruited into the HPV Infection in Men (HIM) cohort study. A subset of the cohort who provided two or more oral rinse-and-gargle samples with valid HPV results and who completed a minimum of 2 weeks of follow-up were included in this analysis. Oral rinse-and-gargle samples and questionnaire data were obtained every 6 months for up to 4 years. Samples were analysed for the presence of oncogenic and non-oncogenic HPV infections by the linear array method.

Findings

1626 men aged 18—73 years and with a median follow-up of 12·7 months (IQR 12·1—14·7) were included in the analysis. During the first 12 months of follow-up, 4·4% (95% CI 3·5—5·6; n=115 incident infections) of men acquired an incident oral HPV infection, 1·7% (1·2—2·5; n=53 incident infections) an oral oncogenic HPV infection, and 0·6% (0·3—1·1; n=18 incident infections) an oral HPV 16 infection. Acquisition of oral oncogenic HPV was significantly associated with smoking and not being married or cohabiting, but was similar across countries, age groups, and reported sexual behaviours. Median duration of infection was 6·9 months (95 % CI 6·2—9·3; n=45 cleared infections) for any HPV, 6·3 months (6·0—9·9; n=18 cleared infections) for oncogenic HPV, and 7·3 months (6·0—not estimable; n=5 cleared infections) for HPV 16. Eight of the 18 incident oral HPV 16 infections persisted for two or more study visits.

Interpretation

Newly acquired oral oncogenic HPV infections in healthy men were rare and most were cleared within 1 year. Additional studies into the natural history of HPV are needed to inform development of infection-related prevention efforts.

Funding

US National Cancer Institute, Merck Sharp & Dohme.

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

 

November, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Incidence of oral human papillomavirus infection

Source: The Lancet
Published: November 9, 2013
By: Zoe R. Edelstein, Stephen Schwartz, Laura A. Koutsky
 

 

HPV PhotoAimée Kreimer and colleagues (Sept 7, p 877)1 report an annual incidence of oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection of 4·4% in an international cohort of men (aged 18—73 years; n=1626; specimen collection every 6 months). We would like to offer a methodological explanation for the difference between this estimate and our estimate of 12·3% from a cohort in Seattle, WA, USA (aged 18—24 years; n=212; specimen collection every 4 months).2 There are several potential explanations, including differences in study population, sample size, and specimen collection schedule. We suggest that one of the main reasons is the difference in specimen collection method. Kreimer and colleagues measured HPV DNA using an oral rinse and gargle, whereas we used both an oral rinse and gargle and a self-collected swab of the back of the throat. In our paper, we also reported an incidence of 6·3% of oral HPV infection on the basis of the rinse-and-gargle method alone, which is closer to the 4·4% reported by Kreimer and colleagues. Pickard and colleagues3 estimated oral HPV incidence of 5·7 per 1000 person-months using a rinse-and-gargle method in a cohort of male and female US college students followed up for 3 months—corresponding to a 6·8% annual incidence. The similarity between these incidence estimates suggests that, to date, there is little evidence that oral HPV infection risk varies greatly across studies that differ in the composition of their study populations.

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

 

November, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

HPV Can Damage Genes and Chromosomes Directly, Whole-Genome Sequencing Study Shows

Press release from the James Cancer Center 

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The virus that causes cervical, head and neck, anal and other cancers can damage chromosomes and genes where it inserts its DNA into human DNA, according to a new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

It’s long been known that cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus (HPV)  produce two viral proteins, called E6 and E7, which are essential for the development of cancer. However, they are not sufficient to cause cancer. Additional alterations in host-cell genes are necessary for cancer to develop. Here, scientists identified a new mechanism by which HPV may damage host DNA directly and contribute to cancer development.

Published in the journal Genome Research, this laboratory study used whole-genome sequencing to investigate the relationship between the HPV and host genomes in human cancers.

“Our sequencing data showed in vivid detail that  HPV can damage host-cell genes and chromosomes at sites of viral insertion,” says co-senior author David Symer, MD, PhD, assistant professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics at the OSUCCC – James.

“HPV can act like a tornado hitting the genome, disrupting and rearranging nearby host-cell genes,” Symer explains. “This can lead to overexpression of cancer-causing genes in some cases, or it can disrupt protective tumor-suppressor genes in others. Both kinds of damage likely promote the development of cancer.”

“We observed fragments of the host-cell genome to be removed, rearranged or increased in number at sites of HPV insertion into the genome,” says co-senior author Maura Gillison, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, epidemiology and otolaryngology and the Jeg Coughlin Chair of Cancer Research at the OSUCCC – James. “These remarkable changes in host genes were accompanied by increases in the number of HPV copies in the host cell, thereby also increasing the expression of viral E6 and E7, the cancer-promoting genes.”

HPV causes about 610,000 cancers annually worldwide, including virtually all cervical cancers, and many anogenital and head and neck cancers. How it causes cancer isn’t completely understood.

The two cancer-causing proteins, E6 and E7, silence two key tumor-suppressor genes in host cells, contributing to cancer development. “E6 and E7 are critically important for the virus to cause cancer. Our findings shed light on how HPV, and perhaps other viruses, can disrupt the structure of host chromosomes and genes and thereby contribute to cancer development,” Gillison explains.

For this study, Symer, Gillison and their colleagues examined 10 cancer-cell lines and two head and neck tumor samples from patients. Along with whole-genome sequencing, the scientists used several molecular assays, including RNA sequencing, spectral karyotyping (SKY) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).

Key technical findings included:

• The genome-wide analysis, at single nucleotide resolution, identified a striking and recurrent association between HPV integrants and adjacent genomic amplifications, deletions and translocations;

• The HPV integrants mapped broadly across the human genome, with no evidence of recurrent integration into particular chromosomal hotspots;

• The researchers proposed a “looping” model by which abnormal viral replication results in the extraordinary damage that occurs to host chromosomes at the sites of viral DNA insertion.

“Our study reveals new and interesting information about what happens to HPV in the ‘end game’ in cancers,” Symer says. “Overall, our results shed new light on the potentially critical, catastrophic steps in the progression from initial viral infection to development of an HPV-associated cancer.”

Funding from the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), the Ohio Supercomputer Center, an Ohio Cancer Research Associate grant, the Oral Cancer Foundation and the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research, supported this research.

 

A great company teams up with great employees to raise money for Oral Cancer

As a result of a great company and their employees, at a second annual 5K run and two mile walk for Team Berry at a local event this year in South Carolina, their efforts have raised more than $2,900 which was donated to the Oral Cancer Foundation to be used for oral cancer research.

Shelly BlevinsSixty-four employees, spouses and children of Berry Home Centers and Berry Iron and Metal Company participated in the 5K and walk this year, more than double the participants last year, because the companies were running for a cause. Both were running for Jeremy Blevins, 42, who passed away Aug. 3 after a courageous battle with oral cancer, and his family. Jeremy is the nephew of Tom and Kyra Bishop who own Berry Home Centers and Berry Iron and Metal Company and also the nephew of Steve Kegley, Kyra’s brother and manager of the Abingdon Berry Home Centers’ store.

Berry’s offered to donate $20 for every mile walked or run by employees in this year’s race to the Oral Cancer Foundation in Jeremy’s honor. Employees completed a 145.1 miles during the 5K and 2 mile walk, so Berry’s donated $2,902 to the Oral Cancer Foundation as a result.

Jeremey Blevins wife, Shelley Blevins, pictured above with their son, Bise, and friend, is also coordinating the inaugural Oral Cancer Foundation Run For Awareness in Memory of Jeremy Blevins on Saturday, February 1, 2014. The event will take place at Springmaid Park located at Baxter Village. Please visit the event page at: http://donate.oralcancer.org/index.cfmfuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=583

In difficult times like these, when great individuals team up with great companies, great things can happen.