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University study supports OraCoat products’ ability to reduce plaque and improve dry mouth symptoms

Source: www.dentistryiq.com
Author: DentistryIQ Editors

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine analyzed the effects of OraCoat XyliMelts oral adhering discs on people affected by clinically diagnosed dry mouth. The double-blind, randomized study demonstrated that XyliMelts reduce tooth plaque by 58% and improve the ability to eat and swallow in those affected by dry mouth.

Dry mouth is the subjective sensation of oral dryness that affects up to 60% of the elderly population, and is caused by various disorders and oral cancer treatments such as radiation to the head and neck. Additionally, a number of medications, including over-the-counter drugs such as antidepressants, decongestants, antihistamines, appetite suppressors, and diuretics produce symptoms of dry mouth. Dry mouth symptoms include a sticky, dry sensation in the mouth, tongue roughness, frequent liquid consumption, difficulty speaking and swallowing, and sleep disruption.

OraCoat XyliMelts is a patented dry mouth product that sticks to the gums on the outside of a molar, releasing one-half gram of xylitol and cellulose gum which, combined with saliva, forms a lubricating gel. XyliMelts used at night while sleeping is the most effective delivery of Xylitol.*

The 21-day clinical study evaluated in patients with dry mouth the effects of XyliMelts on saliva production and ability to neutralize acids, as well as patient comfort. The study was administered to five test subjects who used XyliMelts as recommended: two discs while sleeping, one on each side of the mouth, and as needed during the day. On average, the subjects used four discs each day during daytime hours.

Test results showed the clinical usefulness of XyliMelts for effectively relieving dry mouth. Researchers found that XyliMelts significantly reduced sleep disruption by lasting for six hours while sleeping, while improving mouth wetness upon waking in the morning. XyliMelts also diminished tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, and spicy foods and drinks. The adhering discs more than doubled saliva production while in place, and increased the ability of saliva to neutralize acids that cause tooth decay. Most importantly, the test displayed that subjects using XyliMelts in conjunction with standard oral care showed heightened saliva flow compared to standard oral care alone. XyliMelts not only alleviates symptoms of dry mouth, they also stimulate saliva production.

Overall, subject feedback to XyliMelts was positive, with subjects stating that they would continue using the discs while recommending them to others. Subjects also reported XyliMelts as easy to use with a favorable taste and overall mouth feel.

The study was published on February 13, 2017, and can be found here.

In a March 2016 Clinicians Report survey of dentists published by CR Foundation, 152 dentists who were familiar with OraCoat XyliMelts rated it more effective than any other remedy for dry mouth, including prescription drugs which came in second.†

XyliMelts are available over the counter at CVS and Rite Aid. For more information on XyliMelts, visit www.oracoat.com. Consumers interested in receiving a free sample (limit one per household) should call (855) 275-4766.

A companion product to OraCoat XyliMelts for oral cancer patients is OraCoat XyliGel, a gel with 17% xylitol buffered to pH 7.4 to relieve dry mouth. It works especially well for people with very low levels of saliva. XyliGel is available online at oracoat.com.

March, 2017|Oral Cancer News|

UK cancer patient receives new jaw thanks to 3D printing

Source: http://www.3ders.org/
Author: staff

3D printing techniques are being adopted with increasing regularity in surgery of all kinds, and more and more patients are seeing a hugely improved quality of life thanks to the unique benefits of the technology. The most recent success story took place in the UK, where a patient’s jawbone was entirely reconstructed using bone from his leg. The pioneering surgical procedure made use of 3D printing at various different stages.

Stephen Waterhouse was diagnosed with throat cancer eight years ago, and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy in order to fight it. The treatments were a great success and his cancer went away, but they had an unfortunate side effect. His jawbone had started to crumble, and emergency surgery was required before it completely disintegrated. The 53-year-old was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital, which had purchased a new 3D printer just two years previously.

Costing the hospital trust around £150,000 (about $188K), the machine is the only one of its kind in the country, and was a crucial part of the effort to save the patient’s jawbone. A 3D model was designed from a scan of his remaining intact jaw and printed out as a mold, which was then used to reconstruct the jaw using bone taken from his fibula. The operation lasted around 12 hours and was a great success.

According to Daya Gahir, consultant in maxillofacial and head and neck surgery, the hospital does “at least 40 major head and neck reconstructions per year. Around 10 to 15 cases will be done in this way using the printer.” The procedure is very intricate, and the hospital’s purchase of the 3D printer has revolutionized the way his team operates. “Some of the leg bone was taken then reshaped, as you have to replace bone with bone. We took away some of the skin from the leg as well and replanted it back into the neck. A face is not easy to reconstruct, it is intricate.”

New software for the 3D printer was developed last year, which allows the whole process to be planned and carried out within the hospital. Without this, Stephen may have had to travel to Germany for the operation to be completed, according to Gahir. Using the 3D printer in this way saves a lot of time and effort for patient and medical team alike, as well as cutting costs. Around £11,000 is saved for each case by carrying out the whole surgical process on-site.

Stephen is still in recovery and has praised the care he is receiving from staff, as well as the effectiveness of the surgery. “I am so pleased with the results,” he says, “you can’t tell the difference between the two sides of my mouth.”

March, 2017|Oral Cancer News|

Navy veteran sues Connecticut VA for missing cancer diagnosis

Source: www.ctlawtribune.com
Author: Robert Storace, The Connecticut Law Tribune

A 57-year-old Navy veteran has sued the West Haven Veterans Administration Hospital and a doctor at the facility’s Ear, Nose and Throat Department for allegedly failing to treat or diagnose his throat cancer.

In a 21-page federal lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Hartford, Ned Fairbanks claimed that, despite many nodules in his throat area, Dr. Hugh F. Reilly denied his request and a request by his then-fiancée to perform a biopsy in September 2014.

“Dr. Reilly decided not to perform [a biopsy], deeming it unnecessary,” the lawsuit states. Instead, Reilly referred Fairbanks to a speech therapist on at least two separate occasions, “purportedly to help him speak differently to relieve the stress on his throat.”

The lawsuit, which seeks $5 million, alleges that six months passed before Reilly diagnosed Fairbanks with throat cancer in March 2015.

“Six months later, the tumor was the size of a plum,” David K. Jaffe, Fairbanks’ attorney, told the Connecticut Law Tribune Monday. “We had an ENT doctor who reviewed everything and, based on the exam and [Fairbanks’] history as a longtime smoker, that should have been a red flag to have a biopsy.”

The cancer progressed to a such level that Fairbanks had to have his larynx, thyroid gland and lymph nodes removed and had to have an electronic speaking device installed, Jaffe said.

Jaffe, of the Hartford law firm Brown Paindiris & Scott, also said a cancer specialist who reviewed the case believed that if the cancer were caught earlier, “it could have prevented the need for a voice box and that he could have been OK.”

An Enfield resident, Fairbanks was in the Navy from 1979 to 1988.

“He is a very stoic person,” Jaffe said. “But he is having trouble accepting the change in his image and body function.”

Fairbanks, his attorney said, still works as a heavy equipment operator in the construction business but “he has found work to be increasingly more difficult. It is often hard for him to speak and he gets fatigued easily. There is also a lot of dust and bacteria where he works.”

As of Monday afternoon, the West Haven VA had not assigned an attorney to the case.

Reilly was not available for comment Monday and no one from the West Haven VA was available for comment.
The lawsuit will be heard by Judge Vanessa Bryant.

March, 2017|Oral Cancer News|

Magnolia man joins exclusive trial in battle against cancer

Source: www.cantonrep.com
Author: Denise Sautters

Rich Bartlett is looking forward to getting back to his hobbies — woodworking and nature watching — and enjoying a good steak and potato dinner. Until then, though, he is in a fight for his life, one he plans to win.

Bartlett is a cancer patient and the first participant in a clinical trial at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland to test the safety of an immunotherapy drug — Pembrolizumab — when added to a regimen of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Back to the beginning
Bartlett went to the dentist in October for a checkup.

“He had a sore in his mouth he thought was an abscess,” explained his wife, Nancy Bartlett, who pointed out that, because radiation and chemo treatments cause the inside of the mouth to burn and blister, it is hard for Bartlett to talk.

“When the dentist looked at his sore, he sent Richard to a specialist in Canton, and in early November, he had a biopsy done. It came back positive for cancer.”

From there, he was referred to Dr. Pierre Lavertu, director of head and neck surgery and oncology at University Hospitals, and Dr. Chad Zender from the otolaryngology department, who did Bartlett’s surgery.

“They let us know it was serious,” said Nancy. “It had gone into the bone and the roof of the mouth, but they were not sure if it had gone into the lymph nodes. By the time we got through that appointment, it was the first part of December and (they) scheduled him for surgery on Dec. 22.”

The cancer tripled in size by then and the surgery lasted 10 hours. Doctors had to remove the tumor, all of the lymph nodes and parts of the jaw and the roof of Bartlett’s mouth.

“They harvested skin from his hand to rebuild the inside of his mouth, and took the veins and arteries and reattached everything through his (right) cheek,” she said. “He could not even have water until February because of the patch. He uses a feeding tube to eat now.”

The tube is temporary until Bartlett heals.

Clinical trial
Just before he started chemo and radiation therapies, the hospital called him about the clinical trial.

The trial is the first to use quadra-modality therapy — or four different types of therapy — against the cancer, according to Dr. Min Yao, the principal investigator.

Yao said Bartlett has squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, with only a 50 percent chance of survival.

“Patients have surgery, then followed by six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy and immunotherapy,” Yao said in an email interview. “That is followed by six more months of immunotherapy, one dose every three weeks.”

Bartlett currently is in the radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy part of the study.

“It is too early to tell how he is responding,” said Yao. “His tumor has been resected. After the treatment, we will see them periodically with scans. Cancer often recurs in the first two years after treatment.”

Pembrolizumab originally was developed to activate the body’s immune system in the fight against melanoma. Former president Jimmy Carter was treated with the drug for his brain metastases from melanoma in 2015.

A truck driver by trade, Bartlett will undergo daily fluoride treatments for the rest of his life to protect his teeth.

“We did not realize until we got to Cleveland just how bad this was,” said Nancy. “When you have oral cancer, and they are getting ready to do radiation and chemo, you have to go have your teeth cleaned and examined and get anything done that needs to be done because radiation tends to compromise your blood flow in your mouth. That was a step we didn’t know.”

Although he was shocked to hear the outcome of that sore in his mouth, Bartlett is grateful to be a part of the trial.

“Who wouldn’t feel good about something like this? I mean, you got something that was used on Jimmy Carter, who is recovered and is now making public appearances again,” said Bartlett, who is looking forward to June when hopefully he can start eating again and enjoying his hobbies.

“I am very hopeful about this. The whole thing has been a trial. I have a dentist in Cleveland who said I was going to be in the fight of my life, and I am. I am in a huge fight. The chemotherapy is what has knocked me down the most, but I am very positive about the outcome of this.”

March, 2017|Oral Cancer News|

World Oral Health Day 2017: Signs and symptoms of oral HPV

Source: www.thehealthsite.com
Author: Sandhya Raghavan

In 2010, when actor Michael Douglas was diagnosed with throat cancer, he said something shocking about his condition. He revealed to a journalist that cunnilingus or oral sex was the reason why he got throat cancer. Quite naturally, his comments were met with disbelief and ridicule. But the only ones who weren’t laughing was the medical fraternity, who knew that there was a tremendous amount of truth in his statement. HPV or Human Papilloma Virus, one of the biggest risk factors for cancer, can be transmitted through an infected person’s genital fluids during oral sex. From here, it starts infecting the person’s oral and respiratory system, causing cancers of the mouth and neck in the long run.

What causes oral HPV?
Dr Gautam Bhansali, a consulting physician at Bombay Hospital, states, “Oral HPV is primarily spread through sexual contact and blood contact.” Unprotected vaginal, oral and anal sex, and open-mouthed kissing can cause the virus to proliferate. The risk factor is increased in people who have low immunity, like diabetics, smokers and those suffering from infectious diseases.

How to know if there is oral HPV residing in the body?
There is no way to find out because oral HPV is a sneaky virus. You may carry the virus for years and even transfer it to your partner without you knowing it. In most cases, the immune system sends the virus packing even before it sets shop in the body. But if it wins the war against your antibodies, it can increase the risk of cancers in the body.

When to see a doctor?
Oral HPV can develop into cancers of the oral cavity and the pharynx. Early symptoms include.
• Fever- “It is quite possible for a person infected with the oral HPV virus to have low-grade fevers,” says Dr Bhansali. Watch out for fevers that worsen during the evening hours.
• Trouble swallowing- If there is any obstruction in the throat while swallowing, immediately have it looked up.
• Mouth ulcers- Recurring mouth ulcers or lesions that refuse to go away can be indicators of cancer.
• Earache- “In severe cases, sometimes tumours press up against the Eustachian tube, causing earaches,” says Dr Bhansali.
• Hoarseness of voice- If tumours on one of the vocal cords end up paralysing it, the person’s voice can change to a great extent.
• Unexplained weight loss- With the immunity levels going down, someone with HPV infection may find his or her weight decreasing.
• Lump in the cheeks- “If the tumour starts developing on the parotid glands, lumps will be felt on the person’s cheeks,” reveals Dr Bhansali.
• Blood in cough – Coughing up blood is also an early symptom of oral HPV.

How can you prevent oral HPV?
Studies have proven that thorough oral hygiene can keep the virus at bay. “Following the correct oral hygiene routine is essential for preventing HPV infections. Brushing twice a day, flossing, cleaning the mouth and the genitals after sexual activity,” says Dr Bhansali. Know your sexual partner, use contraceptives and wear dental dams while performing oral sex on new sexual partners.

March, 2017|Oral Cancer News|

10 Oral hygiene tips no one ever taught you that you need to know

Source: www.romper.com
Author: Leah Carton

No one loves a dry mouth or bad breath. And although brushing your teeth is something you’ve been doing for years now, there are still oral hygiene tips that no one ever taught you that could still benefit your overall health big time.

You shouldn’t take a relaxed approach when it comes to dental care since many unwanted dental concerns and problems can arise when you do so. According to Colgate, there are simple steps that you can take to decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems, in between regular visits to the dentist.

But even if you increase the uptake of cleaning your teeth, it’s still important to regularly visit your dentist, especially if you have preexisting dental problems. To make your life easier, schedule your oral exams as you stay on top of your kid’s dentist appointments.

Incorporating these oral hygiene tips into your daily morning and nighttime routine can help you to see amazing changes when it comes to your teeth, gums, and breath. Hey, maybe your dentist will even finally stop nagging you about flossing once they see all of the other great improvements you’ve made when it comes to oral hygiene.

  1. Brush Your Tongue: Know Your Teeth reports it’s just as important to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath as it is to brush your teeth.
  2. Stop Using Mouthwash Directly After Brushing: According to National Smile Month, you rinse away fluoride from your toothpaste when you use mouthwash right after brushing your teeth. To avoid this, opt to use mouthwash after lunch rather than directly after your morning brush.
  3. Properly Store Your Toothbrush: According to Mayo Clinic, there are simple steps that keep your toothbrush clean. The site noted that you should rinse your toothbrush after brushing, store it in an upright position to air-dry, and keep it away from closed containers to prevent growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast.
  4. Switch To A Soft-Bristled Toothbrush: According to Dr. Chris Nhan, a California dentist, toothbrushes with hard bristles can damage your gums and expose tooth root surfaces if they’re not used properly. When used properly, hard bristles can efficiently remove plague and tartar.
  5. Watch Your Calcium Intake: Dr. Ernest Greenwald, from a Richmond Hill family dentistry practice, says your calcium intake is just as important for your teeth as it is for your bones. Have a glass of milk in the morning or incorporate cheese into your lunch to increase your calcium intake.
  6. Limit The Amount Of Times You Brush: Complete Dental Health suggests you should brush your teeth twice daily — once in the morning and again at night. The site further noted that more is not better, since excessive brushing can weaken your teeth’s enamel.
  7. Visit Your Dentist Annually: The Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommends that you should have an oral exam once or twice a year. If problems or concerns arise, don’t be afraid to contact your dentist to book additional appointments.
  8. Avoid Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard: According to Dr. Cindy Flanagan, a dentist for more than 25 years, you shouldn’t forcefully brush your teeth. She further recommended to use small, circular strokes to cover each tooth on all sides when brushing.
  9. Know When It’s Time To Replace Your Toothbrush: You should replace your toothbrush every two to three months, and even after you get sick. This will help to prevent germs from spreading in your mouth.
  10. Spend The Right Amount Of Time Brushing: The Health Site recommends that you brush each region of your mouth for at least 30 seconds. The site further noted that you should not brush horizontally along the gum line, since doing so can cause damage to it.
February, 2017|Oral Cancer News|

Throat cancer is becoming a national health epidemic say oral fitness experts

Source: californianewswire.com
Author: Raychel Harvey-Jones

As a dentist in practice for over 30 years, Dr. Gary Glassman (“Dr. G”) thought he had seen it all. “I have removed maggots from a child’s gums and a tomato plant that was growing from a seed in another patient. Oral fitness is as important as physical fitness, this week a young man died in California from a tooth infection that spread to his lungs,” says Dr. G.

I will admit I am a little nervous when it comes to visiting the dentist, over the years I have been lucky enough to find very patient dentists who have gradually rid me of my fear. After interviewing Dr. G, I plan on making it a priority to regularly visit the dentist. There is a much bigger problem in the U.S. that’s slowly becoming an epidemic – throat cancer.

Dr. G is concerned about the growing numbers of mouth and throat cancer caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that is transmitted during oral sex.

Dr. G, a leading global oral fitness expert, says, “The scary part about the growing concern of oral cancer among men is that we think of oral sex as a safer alternative to intercourse.”

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the HPV virus is the most sexually transmitted infection in the United States, and it’s showing up in men aged 40-60 years old. Skeptical? Just ask actor Michael Douglas.

In an interview published in The Guardian newspaper in London, Douglas mentioned that his throat cancer could have been brought on by oral sex, a common way to become infected with HPV. (Douglas later admitted he actually had tongue cancer and “regrets blaming his wife’s vagina.”)

“We are seeing the HPV-positive throat cancer more in older men as they produce less saliva. Saliva acts as a natural coating that protects the mouth from infections. Also, there are a plethora of medications used everyday by older guys that cause dry mouth; medications like Ibuprofen and Amoxicillin,” says Dr. G.

There are about 200 different strains of HPV. Some cause common warts when they invade the skin. Others are the cause of sexually transmitted diseases.

“HPV can cause cervical cancer, as well as cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils, though these are not the same strains of the virus. Cancer often takes years, even decades, to develop after a person gets HPV. More than half of American men who are having sex will get HPV at some point in their lives,” adds Dr. G.

According to the CDC, there is no approved test to check for HPV in the mouth or throat; this is why regular visits to your dentist are critical. A dentist can monitor any changes in your mouth. There are HPV tests that can be used to screen for cervical cancer.

“Your mouth is crucial when it comes to your overall general health. Treat your dentist’s chair as an extension of your trips to the gym; it’s just as vital to your health and fitness,” adds Dr. G.

The HPV vaccine is a must before you are sexually active. However, if you haven’t had the vaccine there are measures you can take, ask your dentist. “It’s not worth the risk,” concludes Glassman.

February, 2017|Oral Cancer News|

Game changer’ HPV vaccine is now just 2 shots – not 3 – in bid to simplify

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk
Author: Mary Kekatos for dailymail.com

  • HPV vaccines will now be administered in two doses instead of three
  • The virus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US
  • But only 28% of boys and 42% of girls received the advised three doses in 2015
  • Doctors hope the new guidelines increase the number of kids who get the shot

The HPV vaccine will now be administered in two doses instead of three, new guidelines declare. The new rules, published on Monday, come after years of campaigns from cancer experts insisting an easier schedule would encourage more people to protect themselves from the sexually-transmitted infection.

Human papillomavirus (or, HPV) is the most common STI in the United States, affecting around 79 million people. It has been linked to numerous cancers – including prostate, throat, head and neck, rectum and cervical cancer.

Experts claim more widespread vaccine coverage of middle school children could prevent 28,000 cancer diagnoses a year. Currently, fewer than half the children eligible for the vaccine – given out as three doses over six months – are covered. Experts blame the lengthy, arduous schedule.

The American Cancer Society today endorsed the updated recommendations, which were released by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).  Dr Debbie Saslow, Senior Director, HPV Related and Women’s Cancers for the American Cancer Society, said: ‘In the past several years, studies have shown the vaccine is even more effective than expected.

‘This new two-dose regimen is easier to follow, and we now know is very effective in preventing HPV, which is linked to a half dozen types of cancer.’

Each year, about 14 million people become newly infected with HPV. According to the CDC, each year about 19,000 cancers caused by HPV occur in women in the US, with cervical cancer being the most common. And about 8,000 cancers caused by HPV occur each year in men in the US and oropharyngeal (throat) cancers are the most common. Besides cervical cancer, HPV has been linked to vaginal, vulvar, oropharyngeal, anal, and penile cancers.

Despite strong evidence of safety and effectiveness, vaccination rates in the US remains very low compared to other countries. Only 28 percent of boys and 42 percent of girls aged 13 to 17 years receiving the recommended three doses in 2015. The skewed figures between genders are largely attributable to the fact that the jab was only offered to boys as a standard vaccine as of last year.

Previously, it was believed HPV was most strongly linked with cervical cancer in women. Research since has shown links with penile, anal, mouth, throat and other cancers in men. However, the gender divide does not fully account for the staggeringly low levels of coverage overall.

Despite the three vaccines that are widely available, the number who choose to be vaccinated remains low, and the age they wait to do so has increased. Only Rhode Island, Virginia and the District of Columbia require the vaccine for students.

In response to these figures last year, the ACIP, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), conducted a thorough review of clinical trial data on HPV vaccines. They found that the vaccine in younger adolescents (aged nine to 14 years) produced an immune response similar or higher than the response in young adults (aged 16 to 26 years) who received three doses.

Generally, preteens receive the HPV vaccine at the same time as whooping cough and meningitis vaccines and it is administered before the likely chance of sexual contact.

The new schedule, approved by the FDA in October 2016, states that two doses of HPV vaccine given at least six months apart at ages 11 and 12 will provide ‘safe, effective, and long-lasting protection against HPV cancers’. Even adolescents between ages 13 and 14 are able to receive the HPV vaccination on the new two-dose schedule.
For patients who did not receive HPV vaccination before age 15, three doses are still required and may be given to females up to age 26 and males up to age 21.

February, 2017|Oral Cancer News|

Silk and stem cells are being used to generate salivary glands

Source: biotechin.asia
Author: Manish Muhuri

Saliva is a watery substance secreted by the salivary glands located in the mouth. Saliva is essential for good health, as it assists in speaking, swallowing, food digestion, preventing oral infections in addition to many other tasks. Without normal salivary function the frequency of dental caries, gum disease (gingivitis), and other oral problems increases significantly.

Location and types of salivary glands in humans. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons

Dysfunction or reduction in activity of salivary glands can be caused by many factors, including diabetes, radiation therapy for head and neck tumors, aging, medication side effects, and Sjögren’s syndrome.

Sjogren’s is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own tear ducts and salivary glands. Patients suffering from this disease have severely dry mouth. No treatments are currently available for dry mouth. Salivary glands, unfortunately, have very little regenerative capacity.

The title must have left you wondering about the correlation between silk and saliva – what do they have in common? They are both actually part of a unique experiment going on in San Antonio, a study that could change the lives of millions of people who suffer from dry mouth.

Chih-Ko Yeh , BDS, Ph.D., and Xiao-Dong Chen, MD, MS, Ph.D., of the UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry decided there had to be a better way to help people than try to develop drugs and figured that stem cells may help solve a common, painful problem.

Yeh said the idea is to use stem cells from the patient’s own body derived from bone marrow to grow new salivary gland cells. In order to coax those stem cells into becoming the right kind of cell, researchers are using silk from worms and spiders as scaffolding.

Silk is a natural protein that mimics the micro-environment of the salivary gland. Silk works well, the scientists say, because it’s biodegradable, flexible and porous, providing easy access to the oxygen and nutrition the cells need to grow. Chen and his partner are using rats to test out ways to place the cells in the body to jump-start tissue repair.

“Then we can deliver those cells to a damaged salivary gland by injection, local injection,” Chen explained.

Yeh and Chen’s early work was published in the journal Tissue Engineering.

Experts said this leap into regenerative medicine is intriguing while patients like Willette are holding out hope. “There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to find something to help with this,” Willette said.

In 2016, the researchers received a grant of more than a million dollars from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (part of the National Institutes of Health) to continue their promising work.

January, 2017|Oral Cancer News|

Epigenetic modification discovered in adult throat cancers

Source: www.specialtypharmacytimes.com
Author: Lauren Santye, Assistant Editor

An epigenetic modification may be the cause of 15% of adult head and neck cancers that are linked to tobacco and alcohol use, according to a study published in Nature Genetics.

Although the body is made up of a large number of different types of cells––neurons, skins cells, fat cells, immune cells–– they all have the same DNA or genome. It was not until recently that scientists discovered their differences can be explained by epigenetics.

“This discovery was absolutely unexpected since it seemed highly improbable that the kind of alterations of the epigenome that we had previously found in other types of tumors in children and young adults could also target an epithelial tumor like throat cancer that occurs only in adults,” said Dr Nada Jabado.

There are already some promising drug molecules currently on the market for other diseases that could be tested for head and neck cancers, as well as other cancer types, according to the study. Additionally, the investigators hope that the findings could help in developing treatments for pediatric patients.

“Now that we’ve identified this cohort of patients, we can move quite quickly since the case of adults, as opposed to children, there are more patients and lots of clinical trials,” Dr Jabado said. “The medicines could then be tested on children afterward.”

Dr Jabado’s work focuses on epigenetics in pediatric cancers, particularly on the mutations of the histone H3 protein. In particular, the investigators were interested in a 2015 publication by the Tumor Cancer Genome Atlas Consortium on head and neck cancer that included 1 of the genes that regulates H3.

“We made use of the same data but took a completely different approach,” said principal study author Dr Jacek Majewski. “Instead of concentrating on genetic mutations, we looked at the effect of these mutations on histone H3 proteins. That’s when we discovered that the histone H3 protein was abnormal or incorrectly modified in about 15% of patients with head and neck cancer. The data were there, but this fact had gone unnoticed.”

An essential part of the study was collaboration between scientists and access to the vast genomic databases of patients around the globe, according to the investigators.

“It’s crucial to have access to public data, because it allows us to advance faster and go further in our analyses,” Dr Jabado said. “In our case, this discovery revealed a sub group of patients who might benefit from a therapy that targets the epigenome. This could improve the treatment of more than 1 in 5 patients suffering from devastating oropharyngeal cancer. We are currently collaborating with 2 big groups specializing in head and neck cancer with the goal of finding treatments.”

The investigators are hopeful that the results of the study will open a variety of treatment options in the future.

January, 2017|Oral Cancer News|