Naperville dentistry student gives smiles to veterans

Sat, May 14, 2016

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Source: www.chicagotribune.com
Author: Suzanne Baker

More than 70 Chicago area veterans are getting much-needed dental care as the result of a dental student being assigned a Vietnam War vet as a patient.

Nisha Garg was searching for community service project that would be an extension of her graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry when one of the patients she was assigned spoke about the challenges veterans have finding affordable dental care.

Nisha Garg

Neuqua Valley alumna’s outreach project serves veterans in need of dental care. (UIC College of Dentistry / Handout)

That chance encounter motivated the alumna from Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville to teach monthly oral care seminars for veterans and offer a special dental screening day for them.

Before her final year of grad school, Garg said she wanted to find an outlet outside of school, yet still in the dental field, to channel her energy.

Throughout high school at Neuqua Valley, the 2009 graduate said the teachers and administrators encouraged students pursue a leadership role, whether serving as president of an organization, developing an initiative or creating new club.

As co-captain of girls tennis, Garg would help lead the Neuqua Valley team to first place in conference and sectionals and 11th place in state.

“That stayed with me,” she said.

“As a grad student, I was looking for something to call my own,” she said. “In high school, tennis was my thing; as an undergrad, it was dance.”

Garg found a new outlet in the form of an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, though she needed to find a project to address health disparities in under-resourced communities.

A Vietnam War veteran would help her reach a group she never imagined.

Garg said while working at the college’s dental clinic, she was assigned a patient whose teeth had been broken over time and needed an emergency tooth extraction.

While the man had surgery to repair the gunshot to his mouth he sustained during combat in Vietnam, the veteran never received follow-up dental care from the Veterans Administration, something that shocked her.

“That was confusing and alarming to me,” she said. “That conversation opened a whole new realm I never considered or ever thought about.”

As an Albert Schweitzer fellow, Garg worked with the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center just blocks from the UIC Campus.

Her year-long outreach project started out as monthly seminars to provide veterans with tips on oral health, such as a how to self-screen for oral cancer and where to turn for lower-cost dental alternatives.

Over and over again at the meetings Garg said veterans told her they didn’t qualify for dental care from the VA so they never receive even routine screenings because they can’t afford it.

That new information prompted Garg to approach her faculty about holding a screening day for veterans.

“I was very scared about the resistance I would get,” she said. “I was very comforted the reaction was favorable.”

Susan A. Rowan, UIC College of Dentistry associate dean, said the college is supportive of its dental student Schweitzer Fellows and make every effort to ensure the success of their service projects.

“Nisha recognized that the veterans she encountered had a significant need for oral health care, and many had difficulty accessing affordable care,” Rowan said.

“When she proposed a screening day specifically to address the veterans’ needs, dean Clark Stanford and I fully supported the endeavor.

“Nisha’s vision took shape and became a reality with her dedication, hard work and engagement of fellow students and faculty.”

Five faculty members and 22 students screened 73 patients in one day.

Of those, 68 veterans were accepted as patients for follow-up care provided by UIC; five were referred elsewhere due to more complex needs, Garg said. Rowan said Garg made sure every veteran screened for dental care at the college was assigned to a student.

The veterans were overwhelmingly appreciative, Rowan said.

“The following week we received a letter from one of the veterans which read, in part: ‘As a veteran I would like to thank you all for showing such concern for our dental health. Everyone was so nice and helpful,'” she said.

Garg, now is pursuing a specialty in orthodontics at IUC, said the Chicago Dental Society is looking to turn her veterans screening day into a yearly event. “I hope I can be involved every year,” she said.

Her only regret throughout the project was that she was unable to fully assist the veteran who was her initial inspiration.

The man, who is homeless, never returned for follow-up visits, and “unfortunately there is no way to reach him,” she said.

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Vigilant Biosciences receives CE mark for OncAlert Oral Cancer Rapid Test

Sat, May 14, 2016

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Source: www.dentistryiq.com
Author: Apex360 Editors

The CE mark, a mandatory conformity marking in the European Union (EU), will allow the product to be sold in the 28 countries of the EU and Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Vigilant Biosciences Inc. has announced that it has CE marked its OncAlert Oral Cancer Rapid Test. CE marking allows Vigilant Biosciences to market the product in the 28 countries of the European Union (EU) as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

The OncAlert Rapid Test is an easy-to-use, accurate, and cost-effective qualitative tool to aid frontline health-care clinicians assessing potentially at-risk patients for oral cancer. It is the first and only rapid test to detect a tumor-initiating and stem cell associated biomarker for head and neck cancer. The test measures soluble CD44 and total protein levels—specific protein markers clinically shown to indicate early stage cancers to serve as an aid in diagnosis, along with other clinical factors.

The OncAlert Rapid Test comprises an oral rinse, which is expelled into a cup, and a test cassette containing a lateral flow test strip that is inserted into the sample of the expelled rinse. Within 20 minutes the test device is read by the health-care professional. The test takes seconds to administer and provides an easy-to-read colorimetric result indicating presence of CD44 and total protein with respect to predetermined threshold levels for cutoffs in the specimen.

As previously announced, Vigilant Biosciences has multiple distribution agreements secured throughout Europe and Asia/Pacific with additional partnerships to be announced and expects to begin shipping the product during the latter half of 2016.

“CE marking of our OncAlert Rapid Test is a major milestone for our company as it enables us to initiate manufacturing and sales efforts across the international community,” said Matthew H.J. Kim, founder, chairman, and CEO of Vigilant Biosciences Inc. “We have built, and will continue to build upon, a strong distribution network across the EU and other regions of the world, and we are looking forward to making an impact on the high rate of late-stage oral cancers diagnosed globally.”—Vigilant Biosciences press release 4 May 2016

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Take a puff, lose a tooth

Sat, May 14, 2016

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Source: www.lifezette.com
Author: Carleen Wild

Think smoking won’t lead to dental disasters? Think again.

Mary Olson (not her real name) couldn’t wait. The 59-year-old from Janesville, Wisconsin, had avoided smiling for years, especially in photos. She was missing a few teeth already — and every new day brought anxiety that another tooth might be knocked loose.

Now, she was “finally scheduled to get them all pulled,” she told LifeZette.

Olson, a lifelong smoker, isn’t alone in taking that step — or needing something equally dire done.

“For patients who’ve been smoking since their teens, I typically see significant decay and periodontal issues in their mid-to-late 20s, with the potential for tooth loss,” Jennifer Van Wingen, a registered dental hygienist and continuing education instructor from Traverse City, Michigan, said.

“Many patients question why their teeth used to be so nice, but then over the years fell apart. They say their baby sucked the calcium out of their teeth, their parents lost their teeth at the same age so it’s genetic, their teeth got worse as they get older — but it’s the years of smoking,” she added.

Cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (more commonly known as COPD), heart disease, low-birth-weight babies, and stroke have been some of the most commonly cited health concerns and chronic conditions connected to smoking. But there’s also bone loss in the jaw, inflammation of the salivary glands, higher risk of developing gum disease, and leukoplakia (an increased risk of tooth loss).

Health care professionals say if a limited capacity to breathe, move, and function later on in life doesn’t get people to finally think twice about quitting, perhaps appealing to their vanity and pocketbook will.

“Smoking affects gum health essentially by slowly breaking down the soft tissue and bone that anchor teeth in the jaw,” said Dr. Renee Townsend, DDS and regional dental director for Jefferson Dental in Texas. “As the tissue and bone erode, pockets develop around the teeth where bacteria and plaque can accumulate. Cigarette smoke hinders the healing process, so smokers may have a harder time recovering from infection or healing from dental treatments,” she added.

Treatments for lost teeth can be costly, and many smokers who seek dental implants find there are several more steps to repair the damage.

“With smokers who have a significant amount of bone loss, we have to reconstruct some bone in the jaw so that the implants have an area to anchor,” said Townsend. “It gets to be costly and can be an intense process.”

Smokers are also at a high risk for oral cancer. The Oral Cancer Foundation says those diagnosed today will likely not be alive in five years.

“I educate patients about the consequences of smoking beginning at age six, according to our industry guidelines and standard of care,” said Van Wingen, the dental hygienist. “We talk about quality of life issues such as tasting food, being able to chew food, bad breath from diseased gums, and the expense of dental treatment. Many patients are shocked to find out their issues are from smoking alone.”

The effects of periodontal disease are permanent. There’s no coming back from that, she added. Once the bone is destroyed — it’s not coming back.

“Same thing with those little fibers that attach your gums to your tooth. They don’t grow back. The damage you do in your teens and early years sets the stage for a lifetime of maintenance and work.”

Dr. Rachel Bishop, an ophthalmologist with the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, agreed that much of the damage done when people start smoking at a young age is irreversible. In terms of her specialty in vision loss, or the preservation of vision, smoking has been linked to increased rates of macular degeneration, increased cataracts, and increased types of optic nerve damage, among other issues.

“Imagine you’ve got splotches in your vision where things just look muddy. Your windshield has blobs of mud on it and you’re trying to see through that,” said Bishop.

That’s not a situation most people would volunteer to have. “That’s a really hard life — and not a high quality life,” she added.

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California Raises Smoking Age To 21

Thu, May 5, 2016

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Source: www.huffingtonpost.com
Author: Huffington Post Staff
 

The law makes it the second state to raise the minimum age to 21, following Hawaii.

 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 31:  Isaiah Atkinson smokes a cigarette in front of the San Francisco Centre on May 31, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  Since 1987, the World Health Organization has celebrated "World No Tobacco Day" to raise awareness to the health risks associated with smoking tobacco. Smoking is the second biggest cause of death globally and is responsible for the death of one in ten adults worldwide.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – California will raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 from 18 under a bill signed on Wednesday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, part of a package of anti-smoking measures that also regulates electronic cigarettes.

Under five bills signed into law on Wednesday, California will ban the sale of vaping products or tobacco to anyone under the age of 21, imposing a fine of up to $5,000 against companies that violate the law.

“It is long past due for California to update our approach to tobacco,” said Steven Larson, president of the California Medical Association. “There has been an alarming rise in the use of e-cigarettes by teens, putting them at risk for lifelong addiction.”

Under the measures, electronic cigarettes will be regulated like traditional ones. That means that wherever cigarettes are banned, such as in restaurants, workplaces and public areas, use of e-cigarettes will also be prohibited.

The state will also expand its funding for anti-smoking programs under the bills.

Brown stopped short of allowing local counties to impose their own tobacco taxes, noting in his veto message that several proposed new taxes would be placed before voters on the November ballot.

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

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Checkpoint inhibitors seen to show potential of immunotherapy in several cancer studies

Wed, May 4, 2016

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Source: immuno-oncologynews.com
Author: Magdalena Kegel

Several new checkpoint inhibitors — a class of immunotherapy drugs used in cancer — continue to show beneficial effects in numerous cancer types, according to data presented at the recent American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Investigated checkpoint inhibitors confirmed earlier results showing evidence of efficacy in melanoma, and also suggested that this class of immunotherapies, which trigger a person’s immune system to attack cancer, might work in patients suffering from certain head and neck cancers.

One of the studies, CheckMate-141, exploring the checkpoint blocker nivolumab (Opdivo) in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, was stopped early after 36 percent of the 361 patients survived for one year — an increase of more than 100 percent compared to patients receiving other treatments.

Squamous cell carcinoma is usually treated with platinum-based chemotherapy, but the effects are often temporary as the cancer tends to return. Moreover, patients who fail to fully recover after chemotherapy are generally resistant to further treatment.

Maura Gillison from Ohio State University, who presented the CheckMate-141 data, said that no effective treatments have been approved for patients with this kind of cancer in over a decade. “I’ve treated head and neck cancers for more than twenty years, and this is the first time I’ve had a drug to go to for patients that have become resistant to first-line treatment,” she said in a press release.

Dr. Emma King, a Cancer Research UK-funded head and neck cancer expert, added that the findings are likely to have a “significant impact” for these cancer patients. “They also reinforce the important shift that we are seeing towards using immunotherapies for cancer treatment.”

“Before nivolumab can be used routinely to treat head and neck cancer in the UK, it will need to approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE),” she added.

Nivolumab was investigated in the CheckMate-069 trial, where its efficiency in advanced melanoma was tested in combination with another checkpoint inhibitor, ipilimumab (Yervoy).

Data presented showed that 60 percent of patients on the combination therapy survived for two years. But the benefit can come with a high price, as severe side effects forced one-third of patients to stop the treatment.

“Both nivolumab and ipilimumab have changed survival expectations in advanced melanoma over the last few years, and these latest data show us that combining these two immunotherapies is an effective two-pronged attack against the cancer,” said Dr. James Larkin, a medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

Yet another study found nivolumab to increase five-year survival in advanced melanoma patients to one-third — again, a doubling compared to what can be achieved by conventional treatment.

Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare skin cancer linked to exposure to a common virus, was also among the cancer types showing benefits from checkpoint inhibitor treatment. Once the cancer spreads, no treatments are effective in holding it back. The checkpoint blocker pembrolizumab (Keytruda) caused tumors to shrink in about half of the 26 patients in the trial.

“The trial also suggests that patients whose Merkel cell carcinoma is linked to a virus may be more likely to benefit from this treatment, which fits with the idea that the more danger signals there are in a cancer, the easier it is for the immune system to recognise it,” said Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician.

Early data of checkpoint inhibition in liver and advanced bowel cancer, used in combination with radiofrequency ablation treatment, also showed promising results.

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HPV vaccination rates for boys in Nova Scotia climbing, province says

Wed, May 4, 2016

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Source: www.cbc.ca
Author: Jon Tattrie, CBC News

Nova Scotia has one of the best HPV vaccination rates in the country with boys getting the vaccine at the same rate as girls, the province’s chief public health officer says.

In 2008, Nova Scotia started offering the vaccine to Grade 7 girls to protect against cancer. In 2015, it expanded the program to offer it to boys, too. Strang said he has no official data yet, but frontline reports show boys and girls are getting the vaccine at equal rates.

“We have some of the best coverage rates in the country, if I may brag a little bit. We have 75 to 80 per cent coverage rate for HPV vaccine, which is substantially better than some other provinces,” Strang told Information Morning on Tuesday.

Why boys are less likely to get HPV vaccine
He said evidence shows human papillomavirus (HPV) is a cause of cervical, head and neck cancers, and that vaccination can prevent those cancers.

In Canada, girls between ages nine and 13 can receive a free HPV immunization no matter where they live. Four provinces—Alberta, Nova Scotia, British Columbia and P.E.I.—also offer the vaccine to boys.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), which helps to shape public policy, recommended in 2012 that the HPV vaccine should be provided to boys, just as it is to girls.

It’s a very effective vaccine, Strang said, with studies showing it produces an immune response against the virus. Detecting an impact on the cancer rate will take years, as the first class of vaccinated Nova Scotians age.

“There are some studies now showing already that we’re starting to see some direct impact and decreases in pre-cancerous lesions that can be detected [in] women in their 20s when they start to get regular pap smears,” the doctor said.

Starting a conversation
HPV is spread through sexual activity and Strang said that link has created controversy in other parts of Canada, but not in Nova Scotia.

“We haven’t had any barriers to getting information out from schools to parents. Whether parents are challenged on this at the family level? That may well be an issue for some, but I’m certainly not aware that it’s a major issue that comes out,” he said.

He added that no evidence shows getting the vaccine—or teaching students from the province’s sex guide—impacts sexual activity.

“We’re naïve to think that kids at the Grade 7 age aren’t starting to become sexually active. This is a way we can actually protect them,” he said.

“Maybe in doing that we start a conversation about other ways they need to protect themselves to be healthy while they start to understand about sexuality.”

The Department of Health and Wellness sends vaccine information to schools, which pass it on to parents. Some vaccines are one dose, others are two or three. Two clinics took place in the fall, and the third is happening now.

HPV leads to several cancers
In the absence of vaccination, about 75 per cent of sexually active Canadians will have a sexually transmitted HPV infection in their lifetime, according to NACI.

​Two types of HPV cause 70 per cent of cervical cancer in women, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. In men, the virus is responsible for a high percentage of mouth, nose and throat cancers, as well as some cancers of the penis and anus.

HPV refers to a group of more than 100 types of related viruses, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. It’s the most commonly transmitted sexually transmitted infection.

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Baidu Under Investigation After Cancer Patient’s Death

Tue, May 3, 2016

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Source: www.fortune.com
Author: Scott Cendrowski

 

Baidu, the dominant search engine in China, is being investigated by government regulators after social media users criticized the quality of medical ads appearing in its searches.

Chinese social media over the weekend gave widespread exposure to the story of Wei Zexi, a young cancer patient whose family pooled together more than $30,000 for his treatments at a government hospital he found through a Baidu search. The hospital marketed an innovative treatment for synovial sarcoma, the rare form of cancer Wei suffered from. Following an unsuccessful treatment and Wei’s death in April, reports spread that the treatment was much less effective than the hospital had advertised.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) sent investigators to Baidu today, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency

Baidu has endured criticism recently for similar instances in which dubious medical practices were promoted in paid search results. Analysts have estimated around one quarter of its revenues come from medical and health-care advertisers.

“We deeply regret the death of Zexi,” a Baidu spokeswoman said today, adding that the search engine had launched its own internal investigation of the matter.

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

 

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Researchers link hepatitis C virus to head and neck cancers

Wed, Apr 27, 2016

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Source: lymphomanewstoday.com
Author: Magdalena Kegel

A study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center shows the hepatitis C infection, previously linked to liver cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is associated with cancers of the head and neck — a finding that could have immediate implications in how hepatitis-infected patients are screened, and how head and neck cancer patients are treated.

Hepatitis C affects as many as 1.5 percent of the U.S. population, making it the most common blood-borne disease in the country, with an estimated 3.9 million having the chronic infection. This number skyrockets to a whopping 130 million to 150 million when considering the global population. New antivirals with few side effects have, however, made it possible to cure up to 90 percent of all hepatitis C patients.

The study, “Association Between Hepatitis C Virus and Head and Neck Cancers,” was performed at an MD Anderson clinic focusing on the unmet medical needs of patients with hepatitis C. The clinic opened in 2009, and to date remains the only hepatitis-focused clinic among comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S.

“Obviously, a hepatitis C infection could impact how patients respond to their cancer therapy. We also realized that many of our hepatitis patients were excluded from clinical trials. Now that many with hepatitis C can be cured, it is important that we first address and potentially cure the virus, so that they can have access to necessary cancer therapy,” said senior author Harrys A. Torres, in a press release.

The viral infection has long been known to lead to liver cancer, with a risk 48 times higher in hepatitis patients compared to the general population. It has also been associated with a two to three-fold increased risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The connection to head and neck cancers has, until now, not been investigated.

“To our surprise, we saw a number of head and neck cancer patients who tested positive for the hepatitis C virus. With this observation, we began to wonder if there was an undiscovered correlation between the two. Our findings tell us that the association between hepatitis C and oropharyngeal and non-oropharyngeal cancers is as high as its link to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” said Torres, who is also an associate professor of Infectious Disease, Infection Control and Employee Health.

The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, retrospectively analyzed data on 34,545 patients who had been tested for hepatitis C between 2004 and 2014. Among them were 409 patients with head and neck cancers – 164 with oropharyngeal and 245 with non-oropharyngeal cancer.

Since head and neck cancers are also related to smoking, the research team used another 694 patients suffering smoking-related cancers as a control group. Only 6.5 percent of patients in this group tested positive for hepatitis C.

Patients with head and neck cancers turned out to be much more likely to have a hepatitis infection – 14 percent in patients with oropharyngeal cancer and 20 percent in patients with non-oropharyngeal cancer — compared to only 6.5 percent in the control group.

Expressing it the other way around — a hepatitis C infection increased the risk of various head and neck cancers between 2 and 4.96 times.

Studies of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and liver cancer have shown that treating the viral infection might prevent cancer from developing, and even shrink cancers that have already appeared, as recently reported by Lymphoma News Today.

In fact, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines now recommend clinicians treat the hepatitis first, a recommendation MD Anderson plans to follow.

“What we are trying to make all understand is that this is an infection that has consequences — and it’s an infection we can cure,” Torres said.

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BMS gets US breakthrough status for head & neck cancer

Wed, Apr 27, 2016

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Source: pharmatimes.com
Author: Selina McKee

US regulators have awarded Bristol-Myers Squibb’s immunotherapy Opdivo a breakthrough designation for the potential indication of recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). The move, which should help expedite the drug’s development and review, comes after preliminary clinical evidence indicated it could offer a substantial survival benefit to patients with the condition who have already received platinum-based therapy.

A first look at the data from the Phase III CheckMate-141 trial, stopped early in January 2016 after meeting its primary endpoint of overall survival, showed that patients treated with Opdivo (nivolumab) experienced a 30 percent reduction in the risk of death compared to the investigator’s choice of therapy (methotrexate, docetaxel, or cetuximab), with a median overall survival of 7.5 months versus to 5.1 months.

Safety signals were also looking good, with treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) of any grade occurring in 58.9 percent of patients on Opdivo versus 77.5 percent of patients on investigator’s choice. Grade 3-4 TRAEs were reported in 13.1 percent of patients on Opdivo compared to 35.1 percent taking the investigator’s choice, while two drug-related deaths were reported as related to Opdivo (pneumonitis and hypercalcaemia), and one Grade 5 event of lung infection in the comparator arm.

The findings are particularly pertinent given the particularly bleak outlook for patients whose disease has progressed after platinum therapy and lack of systemic therapies to improve survival, and thus significant unmet medical need for new options.

Head and neck cancer is the seventh most common cancer globally, with an estimated 400,000 to 600,000 new cases per year and 223,000 to 300,000 deaths per year. The five-year survival rate is reported as less than 4% for metastatic Stage IV disease.

Opdivo is already available in the US to treat certain forms of melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer and renal cell carcinoma. This marks its fifth breakthrough designation from the FDA, and follows that for classical Hodgkin lymphoma issued just days ago.

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Drug Target in Rare, Lethal Glandular Cancer Discovered

Thu, Apr 21, 2016

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Source: www.dddmag.com
Author: Yale University

 

Using a novel cell culture approach, Yale Cancer Center researchers have discovered critical vulnerabilities in adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC), a rare and lethal glandular cancer with a high recurrence rate and few treatment options. The findings, published April 15th in the journal

Clinical Cancer Research, offer data that ACC and similar cancers could be treated with already available drugs.

ddd1604_yale_cancer

ACC most often occurs in the salivary glands but can originate in the breast, trachea, skin, or other sites. Survival rates at five years are close to 90percent but drop significantly after that with just 40percent surviving at 15 years after diagnosis. It is a slow-growing cancer that affects about 1,200 people each year, with few symptoms in early stages.

Aside from surgery, there are few treatments for ACC, which until now has proven largely resistant to radiation therapy. It is this resistance that prompted Yale researchers to develop a novel cell culture technique to isolate and study ACC cancer stem cells, known to be the root of tumor growth, aggressiveness, and resistance to chemotherapy and radiation, said co-senior author Sergey Ivanov, research scientist in surgery (otolaryngology).

“Within ACC cells, we found the especially aggressive cancer stem cells. As important, we found the Achilles heel of these cells, which is their addiction to NOTCH1, a signaling molecule that helps these cells to survive therapy and multiply,” Ivanov said. “Fortunately, cancer stem cells can be killed by blocking NOTCH1 production.”

The similarities between the ACC stem cells and cancer stem cells derived from other cancers such as melanoma, neuroblastoma, and glioma surprised the researchers, according to co-senior author Wendell Yarbrough, M.D., professor and chief of otolaryngology.

“Our study suggests that drugs, which are now used in clinical trials to block NOTCH signaling in a variety of cancers, could be effective against ACC,” Yarbrough said. “Also, our study highlights that there are good targets for therapeutic development in ACC. These findings should form the basis for clinical trials.”

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

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